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On March 23, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged citizens to stay home in an effort to curb the transmission of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) in the country.
All shops selling non-essential goods, public libraries and places of worship will be closed. Furthermore, gatherings of more than two people are disallowed in public spaces in the UK.
Johnson warned that stricter measures would be taken if the public does not heed the government’s advice of movement restriction. “No prime minister 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. At present, there are just no easy options,” Johnson said on his Twitter account.
Instructions for Brits
The prime minister stressed the rules of movement restriction for the public in the televised speech.
“The time has now come for us to do more. From this evening, I must give the British people a very simple instruction: You must stay at home. But there is a critical thing you must do to stop the disease spreading between households. That’s 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, any medical need to provide care or to help a vulnerable person, and traveling to and from work, but only when this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home,” Johnson said.
British travelers abroad have also been advised to urgently make their way back home, since international air travel is becoming increasingly limited.
Related cases and deaths
A total of 336 people in the UK have died from the virus, with 55 deaths recorded on March 23. Forty-six deaths were reported in England – four each in Scotland and Wales, and one in Northern Ireland. A total of 6,650 people in the UK have tested positive.
The National Health Service (NHS) says there are 1.5 million people in England who are most at risk to contract the deadly virus, 200,000 in Scotland, 70,000 in Wales and 40,000 in Northern Ireland.
Despite the increase in recorded cases and deaths, and also after Johnson called for citizens to practice social distancing, numerous Brits have reportedly been seen socializing in public spaces and crowding modes of public transport.
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