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PM announces three-week nationwide ‘lockdown’

Published:  23 March, 2020

UK PM Boris Johnson has announced a national ‘lockdown’ for an initial three-week period following reluctance from part of the UK public to follow government guidance.

In order to stop the escalating spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), Johnson said that to ensure compliance with the government's instruction to stay at home, all shops selling non-essential goods would be closed down with immediate effect. 

People would be allowed only to leave their home for “very limited purposes, shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible”, Johnson said at this evening’s coronavirus briefing.  

“You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home, you should not be going shopping, except the essentials like food and medicine," he said. 

And, he added, “you should do this, as long as you can and use food delivery services, where you can”.

Gatherings of more than two people in public have also been banned as part of the measures taken to shock the nation into the behaviour the government wants. 

“No PM wants to enact measures like this, 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 produced a huge and unprecedented programme of support for workers and businesses,” added Johnson. 

The restrictions would be kept  under “constant review”, he added.  

“We will look again in three weeks and relax them if the evidence shows we are able to. But at present, there are just no easy options. The way ahead is hard.”

Just hours ago the government confirmed that it has extended the residential moratorium on lease forfeiture and debt enforcement to commercial leases.