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25 March 2020, 12:13
Couples who live separately should ‘test the strength’ of their relationship and move in together or remain apart during the UK’s coronavirus shutdown.
As the nationwide coronavirus lockdown continues, the UK government has been very clear about the rules - don’t leave the house unless it is completely necessary.
Despite this, many couples have been questioning whether they are allowed to meet up with their boyfriend or girlfriend during this three week period.
Well, now Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries has said couples could be spreading the virus if they continue to see each other between households.
During a Downing Street press conference on Tuesday afternoon, she urged those who live separately to ‘test the strength’ of their relationship and move in together or remain apart.
She explained: “If you’re two individuals, two halves of a couple in separate households, ideally they should stay in those households.
“The alternative might be that for quite a significant period going forward they should test the strength of their relationship and decide whether one wishes to be permanently resident in another household.
“What we do not want is people switching in and out of households, it defeats the purpose of their deduction in social interaction and will allow transmissions of disease.”
During the press conference, Health Secretary Matt Hancock again urged the public to stay at home, warning ‘these are not requests, they are rules’.
This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that all non-essential shops are now closed except: food, pharmacy, newsagents, vets, petrol stations, hardware, banks, laundrettes and undertakers.
He also announced that everyone should now stay in their homes unless:
- Shopping for food or medicine
- Exercise for yourself or pets alone or with members of your household only
- Medical appointments or as a carer visiting a vulnerable person
- Travel to and from work for essential workers only
Mr Hancock has since called on 250,000 ‘fit and healthy’ volunteers to sign up and help medical workers by delivering shopping and medicine.
He also revealed that a new hospital, the NHS Nightingale, would open next week in London at the Excel exhibition centre.
This will comprise two wards, with the ability to house 4,000 patients.