Eddie Mair 4pm - 6pm
UK coronavirus lockdown: Official rules of Boris Johnson’s lockdown and when they begin
23 March 2020, 21:17 | Updated: 23 March 2020, 21:20
Boris Johnson has announced a total lockdown of the UK due to coronavirus. But what are the rules and when does it begin?
In an address to the nation tonight, the Prime Minister announced that the UK is entering into a lockdown in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19 - but what are the official rules for the lockdown? And when do they start?
He told the country that the measures are in place to slow the spread of coronavirus and ease the pressure on the NHS.
"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, not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well," he explained.
So what are the official UK lockdown rules? And when do they come into place?
What are the official UK lockdown rules?
- People must stay in their homes wherever possible.
- The only reasons people my leave their homes are shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible; for one form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household; any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
- Parks will remain open but social distancing must be exercised.
- People should not be meeting friends, and if friends ask you to meet, you should say no.
- People should not be meeting family members who do not live in their home.
- People should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine, and should do this as little as they can by using food delivery services where you can.
- The government will also close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship;
- The government will stop all gatherings of more than two people in public - excluding people you live with
- The government will stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals
When will UK lockdown begin?
The lockdown begins at midnight tonight.
How long is the lockdown for?
The lockdown is for an initial period of three weeks, when it will be reviewed and relaxed if possible.
How will the lockdown be enforced?
The Prime Minister explained that if people do not follow the rules, the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings