Coronavirus: Boris Johnson orders lockdown including ban on all gatherings

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Boris Johnson has announced strict new measures including restrictions on gatherings, as part of the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a televised address to the nation, the prime minister said people should go outdoors to buy essentials, for medical reasons, for exercise once a day, and to travel to work only when absolutely necessary.

It means all shops selling non-essential items will have to close. Mr Johnson said the restrictions would last at least three weeks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It comes after crowds of people headed to beaches and country parks over the weekend.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation from 10 Downing Street. Picture: PA Video/PA WirePrime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation from 10 Downing Street. Picture: PA Video/PA Wire
Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation from 10 Downing Street. Picture: PA Video/PA Wire | PA (Press Association)

He said: ‘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.

Read More
Boris Johnson tells nation: 'You must stay at home' - read his statement in full

‘That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes: shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible; one form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household; any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.’

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The restrictions are similar to those imposed in other countries including Italy and Spain, although it is not clear how the restrictions will be policed.

Mr Johnson added: ‘To ensure compliance with the Government's instruction to stay at home, we will immediately: close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship; we will stop all gatherings of more than two people in public - excluding people you live with; and we'll stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals.

‘Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed.

‘No Prime Minister wants to enact measures like this.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘I know the damage that this disruption is doing and will do to people's lives, to their businesses and to their jobs.

‘And that's why we have produced a huge and unprecedented programme of support both for workers and for business.

‘And I can assure you that we will keep these restrictions under constant review. We will look again in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows we are able to.’