As of Monday 23rd March, the UK government has introduced significant restrictions on movement in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.
The so-called ‘lockdown’ means everyone must now stay at home; people are only allowed outside to:
- Do food shopping
- Exercise alone or with members of the household once a day
- Get medical care or provide assistance to vulnerable people
- Travel to and from work only where absolutely necessary, i.e. key workers
Police now have additional powers to enforce these stay-at-home regulations through fines and other special measures.
Other measures introduced include:
- All shops selling non-essential goods will now be closed
- Libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and churches are now shut
- All weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies are cancelled; funerals just with close family are still allowed.
- Parks will remain open for exercise only. There are to be no gatherings of more than two and police can use their additional powers to break up any groups.
Businesses that will be allowed to continue operating include supermarkets, post offices, banks and petrol stations.
When people do leave their homes for one of the above reasons, it’s important to follow the existing social distancing guidelines, keeping 2 metres away from other people.
Introducing the new measures, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “the time has come for us all to do more”.
With 6,650 cases, 900 new cases daily and 335 deaths in the UK from coronavirus, Johnson emphasised that these restrictions would help the NHS better cope with the outbreak.
“To put it simply,” he said, “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, not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well”.
Labelling it “the biggest threat this country has faced for decades”, Johnson said that these measures would remain in place for at least three weeks and would then be reviewed.
More information can be found on the government’s website, and you can also sign up for government email alerts when information is changed or added.
You can also track the number of cases and location of cases in the UK on Public Health England’s website.
Like many businesses, coronavirus has already led to significant changes in the way we work. We’re prioritising our team’s health and recognise their new challenges balancing work and home life, including childcare and caring responsibilities.
This will mean significant delays to our usual service times, and we’re grateful for your patience.
We’re also dedicating this time to producing guides and articles to help support people during this tricky time - bookmark our blog or follow us on social media for the latest updates.