Boris Johnson announces police-enforced lockdown across the UK to stop coronavirus

23 March 2020, 20:43 | Updated: 23 March 2020, 21:16

The Prime Minister announced the new measures in a broadcast to the nation this evening.

Boris Johnson addressed the nation in an unprecedented message about new coronavirus measures tonight, announcing that the UK will enter a three-week lockdown period.

You can find the latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) advice from the NHS here.

The Prime Minister revealed that the police will now have the power to fine people if they leave their homes for any reason other than the following:

- Shopping for basic necessities
- One form of exercise a day - either alone or with members of your household
- Medical need or to provide care help vulnerable person
- Travel to work - but only if necessary and you cannot work from home

He said: "These are the only reasons you should be leaving your home.

Read More: What does it mean if the UK is in lockdown amid coronavirus pandemic?

The UK public will only be allowed to leave the house under certain circumstances
The UK public will only be allowed to leave the house under certain circumstances. Picture: Getty

"You should not be meeting friends, you should not be meeting family members who don't live in your home, you should not be shopping except for essentials.

"If you don't follow the rules, the police have power to enforce them including with fines. We will immediately close all shops selling non-essential goods, other premises including libraries and places of worship.

"We will stop all gatherings of more than two people in public and stop all social events - excluding funerals".

Speaking about the growing threat of the pandemic, he said: "The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades. All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this killer.

"Without a huge national effort to hold the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service int he world can possible cope. There wont be enough ventilators, doctors of nurses.

"To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it meaning more people are likely to die from coronavirus and other illnesses as well.

Police will have the power to fine people who flout the rules
Police will have the power to fine people who flout the rules. Picture: Getty

In his press conference yesterday (Sunday 22 March), Boris Johnson reiterated the need for the public to practice social distancing.

He said: "I want, of course I do, people to be able to go to the parks, open spaces and enjoy themselves.

"It is crucial for health, physical and mental well-being.

"But please follow that advice and don't think that fresh air in itself automatically provides some immunity.

"Take this advice seriously, follow it, because it's absolutely crucial."

Read more: Coronavirus: 4,500 retired doctors and nurses have signed up to return to the NHS