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'You must stay home:' UK PM Johnson

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday (March 23) gave out orders unprecedented in peacetime:

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING:

"From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction - you must stay at home."

To stop the coronavirus, Johnson imposed strict new limits on everyday life.

Any non-essential shops must close immediately and people should no longer meet family or friends.

And the government will limit gatherings to just two people in public who don't live together.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING:

"Good evening. The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades - and this country is not alone. All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this invisible killer."

The hefty measures come after many Britons were seen to be ignoring the guidelines on social distancing and flocking to social gatherings, parks and gyms on the weekend.

Deaths from the virus in Britain jumped to over 330 on Monday.

The government said the military would help ship millions of masks and protective gear to healthcare workers who have complained of shortages.

On Sunday more than 6,000 frontline doctors penned a letter to Johnson warning they felt like "cannon fodder"

. . .being asked to put their lives at risk with out-of-date masks, and low stocks of equipment.

Johnson said the new self-isolation orders were vital not just to limit the spread of the virus between one another, but also to protect the UK's National Health Service and limit the overwhelming load on health workers.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING:

"If you don't follow the rules, police will have the power to force the rules through fines and dispersing them."

The restrictions are to be be in place for at least three weeks

Parks will remain open for exercise, but groups will be dispersed.

All social events including weddings and baptisms and will be stopped, excluding funerals.

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