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Eight things you can and can't do under the coronavirus lockdown

·News Reporter
·2-min read
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  • Covid-19
    Covid-19
  • Boris Johnson
    Boris Johnson
    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2019

Boris Johnson has announced tough new restrictions on what people can do and which shops can remain open to fight the coronavirus’s spread.

In a speech on Monday evening, the prime minister outlined a series of measures to combat the outbreak, bringing the UK closer to European countries like Italy, Spain and France.

The latest restrictions came after it became clear many people were not abiding by government advice to socially distance and avoid pubs and restaurants, leading to a risk of the virus spreading rapidly and overwhelming the NHS with cases.

They affect how you can shop, exercise and important events that you may still have planned.

Here is what you can and can’t do under the restrictions.

Members of the public exercise in Richmond Park, London the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)
Members of the public exercise in Richmond Park, London. (PA Images via Getty Images)

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You can

  • Leave your house to shop for basic necessities, but this should be as infrequently as possible

  • Take part in one form of exercise outside of your home, such as running, walking or cycling – on your own or with people you live with – a day

  • Leave the house for a medical need, to provide care or to help someone who is vulnerable

  • Travel to and from work if you absolutely have to and can’t carry out your job from home

  • Visit the park for exercise, but congregations will be dispersed

General view of a near empty London Bridge Station, in London, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday imposed its most draconian peacetime restrictions due to the spread of the coronavirus on businesses and social gatherings. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
A near empty London Bridge Station as UK faced tight restrictions amid the coronavirus outbreak. (AP)
The global rise in confirmed coronavirus cases. (PA Graphics)
The global rise in confirmed coronavirus cases. (PA Graphics)

You can’t

  • Gather in groups of more than two people, excluding those you live with – and the prime minister has said you should not be meeting friends

  • Keep a shop open that is selling non essential goods – this includes clothing and electronic stores

  • Hold a wedding, baptism or other social event or ceremony, with places of worship being told to shut, though funerals may take place

Under review

Police will enforce the restrictions through fines and dispersing gatherings, Johnson said in his speech.

“Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses,” the prime minister said on Monday.

The measures will be looked at again in three weeks, Johnson added.

“No prime minister wants to enact measures like this,” he said. “I know the damage that this disruption is doing and will do to people’s lives, to their businesses and to their jobs.”

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