Boris Johnson has laid down strict new measures for Britons to follow in a desperate attempt to get the accelerating coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak under control. People will only be allowed to leave their homes for four reasons as part of measures lasting a minimum of three weeks until Easter Monday on April 13, where they will be reviewed again. These are: Infrequent shopping for basic necessities such as food or medicine; one form of exercise a day; for a medical need or to take care of the vulnerable; and to go to work, but only if that cannot be done from home.
Gatherings of more than two people in public will also be dispersed.
Mr Johnson said “police will have the powers to enforce” the rules, and can issue £30 fines and dispersal orders.
In the most recent Express.co.uk poll, readers have backed the Prime Minister’s new lockdown laws, but warned it may have come too late to bring the coronavirus outbreak under control.
The poll ran from 8.30am until 10pm on Tuesday March 24 and attracted 9,513 votes.
Coronavirus UK lockdown: Boris Johnson has been savaged by Express.co.uk readers
Coronavirus UK lockdown: The Prime Minister’s move has been labelled ‘too little, too late’
Express.co.uk readers overwhelmingly backed Mr Johnson’s decision, with a massive 88.7 percent (8,440 readers) voting “Yes”, while just 9.6 percent (916 readers) voted “No”. Only 157 readers were “not sure”.
But despite this result, readers lashed out at the Prime Minister for not enforcing the lockdown measures earlier.
Their anger appeared to be directed against the Government’s decision not to yet close airports throughout the country, with flights still coming in from some of the worlds most coronavirus-impacted counmtries.
One commented: “It’s too little too late.
Coronavirus UK lockdown: Britons ignored Government advice on social distancing
“They waited and waited, let in flights, did not close our borders despite the public wanting them to and now the deaths are starting.”
A second reader said: “Too late! We have already imported the virus from all and sundry over the past month or so.”
Another person wrote: “Of course he is right, but, he has STILL not gone far enough and it will therefore not STOP the spread of the disease quickly enough.”
One added “all flights should have been grounded weeks ago”, while another said anyone returning to Britain should have been “quarantined immediately”, and all borders closed.
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The lockdown measures have been enforced after Britons ignored earlier social distancing advice provided by the Government.
Last week, Mr Johnson had asked the public to remain at home and if out, stay two metres away from others.
But millions of people have been seen together in busy parks and cramming onto trains during busy rush hour periods.
Speaking on Monday evening, the Prime Minister said: “Though huge numbers are complying – and I thank you all – the time has now come for us all to do more.
Coronavirus UK lockdown: The measures will remain in place for at least three weeks
“From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.
“Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.”
The Prime Minister added: “You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say “No”.
“You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.
“You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine – and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.
“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”
Published at Tue, 24 Mar 2020 21:53:00 +0000