British people have been told not to leave the country for at least 30 days in new coronavirus lockdown

  • The UK has advised British people to cancel all nonessential travel globally for at least 30 days.
  • The Foreign Office said the change came as countries around the world were closing their borders.
  • The country is advising its citizens to limit all social contact as the country heads toward lockdown.
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British people have been told to cancel all nonessential travel globally as the country ramps up its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the UK Parliament on Tuesday that the UK would advise British people not to leave the country for at least 30 days.

“UK travellers abroad now face widespread international border restrictions and lockdowns in various countries,” Raab said. “The speed and range of those measures across other countries is unprecedented.

“So I have taken the decision to advise British nationals against all nonessential international travel.”

A Foreign Office representative said the government was not yet advising British citizens abroad to return to the UK but added that “British people should keep in mind that flights may be cancelled at short notice or other travel restrictions may be put in place by foreign governments.”

The decision came after the European Union moved to impose a ban on all nonessential travel into the region.

The UK is exempt from the ban but is under pressure from the EU to also apply it while in the 12-month Brexit transition period.

UK heads toward coronavirus lockdown

Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Frank Augstein-WPA Pool/Getty Images

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told all British citizens to work at home and limit nonessential human contact over the coming months.

The new guidance, announced by Johnson at a press conference Monday, came as the coronavirus death toll in the UK rose to 53, with 1,543 confirmed cases.

“Now is the time for everyone to stop nonessential contact with others and to stop all nonessential travel,” Johnson said.

“We need people to start working from home where they can, and you should avoid pubs, clubs, and other venues.”

Johnson said anyone living in a household where someone had experienced symptoms of the coronavirus should self-isolate for 14 days.

“That means that if possible, you should not go out even to buy food or essentials, other than for exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others,” he said.

“If necessary, you should ask for help from others for your daily necessities. And if that is not possible, then you should do what you can to limit your social contact when you leave the house to get supplies.”

England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, said all Brits would have to limit their contact with others for “a minimum of weeks to months” to come.