- The UK has gone into full coronavirus lockdown with the British public ordered to stay at home.
- People are only be allowed to leave their home to do essential work, exercise or buy food or medicine.
- All non-essential shops, premises and places of worship are being closed down, with weddings and baptisms banned.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new rules would be enforced by the police with fines imposed on those breaking them.
- The announcement comes as the latest data suggests the UK is just two weeks behind the level of crisis seen in Italy.
- The UK has so far recorded at least 6,650 coronavirus cases and 335 deaths.
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The UK has gone into full coronavirus lockdown with the public banned from leaving the home for all but essential reasons.
The decision, which came into force from Monday evening, has dramatically changed the lives of millions of British people.
Under the new rules, British people are only be allowed to leave home for the following ‘essential’ reasons.
Shopping for food and medicine
The public are allowed to leave home to buy essential items such as food and medicine. However, the government’s new guidelines suggest such trips should be “as infrequent as possible.”
The public is still allowed to leave home to exercise but only once per day. This can be by yourself or with members of your own household. Some police forces have interpreted these rules more strictly than others.
Medical trips or caring for others
British people are also allowed to leave home for medical purposes such as a doctor’s appointment, or to care for a vulnerable person.
The public is allowed to leave home for work but only if that work cannot be carried out at home.
All nonessential shops and premises are closed
The following “nonessential” premises have been closed immediately.
- Nonessential retail stores such as clothing and electronics stores, hair, beauty and nail salons, outdoor and indoor markets.
- Libraries, community centres, and youth centres.
- Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
- Communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
- Places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
- Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers).
Public gatherings stopped
All gatherings of more than two people, except within your own home with fellow housemates, have been banned.
This applies with just two exceptions:
- Where the gathering is of a group of people who live together – this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.
- Where the gathering is essential for work purposes – but workers should be trying to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.topping social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies.
The Government will also stop social events such as weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. Funerals will still be allowed but only to be attended by immediate family members.
How will the rules be enforced?
The government has passed new emergency legislation through the Coronavirus bill, allowing the police to enforce these new rules.
They have been given the powers to disperse gatherings and impose fines of £6o on anyone who refuses to comply. This will be reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks. Larger fines of between £120 and £1,000 can be imposed for repeat offences.
How long will the lockdown last?
The rules will apply initially for a three week period from March 23 and will then be reviewed by the government before likely being extended.