When did the UK lockdown start and how long will it last?

6 April 2020, 17:47 | Updated: 6 April 2020, 17:51

The UK was put into lockdown on 23 March in an unprecedented step to attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Boris Johnson announced that all UK residents must stay at home to protect the NHS amid the growing threat of coronavirus.

In an unprecedented broadcast to the nation on Monday (23 March), The Prime Minister announced that the police will now have the power to fine people if they leave their homes for any reason other than the following:

Boris Johnson announced a three-week period of lockdown measures earlier this week
Boris Johnson announced a three-week period of lockdown measures earlier this week. Picture: PA

- 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

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

"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.

Most people are allowed out to exercise once a day
Most people are allowed out to exercise once a day. Picture: PA

"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.

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

People have been urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary
People have been urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary. Picture: PA

How long will the UK lockdown last?

Boris Johnson said that these measures will be in place for three weeks, and that they will be reviewed at the end of this period.

This means that they are due to be reviewed on 13 April, which is around the time of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

And on Sunday 30 March, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries said that lockdown measures could last up to six months - and possibly longer.

She said: "The issue of the three weeks is for us to review where we are and see if we've had an impact jointly on the slope of that curve.

"But I think to make it clear to the public if we are successful we will have squashed the top of that curve, which is brilliant, but we must not then suddenly revert to our normal way of living that would be quite dangerous.

"If we stop then all of our efforts will be wasted and we could potentially see a second peak. So over time, probably over the next six months, we will have a three-week review."

She also added that it's 'plausible' that restrictions could be in place for longer than that.

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