UK Prime Minister announces movement restrictions to slow spread of coronavirus

(Title Image: via politico.eu)

While stopping short of a complete lockdown, in a ministerial address yesterday evening, UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced some of the strictest restrictions on daily life during peacetime in order to slow the spread of coronavirus/Covid-19.

In summary, people should remain at their primary home (not a second home or holiday home) except for (link):

  • One form of outdoor exercise a day (run, walk, jog, cycle) which must be done either alone or with members of your household and whilst remaining at least 2 metres (6 ft 6) away from other people.
  • Buying essential supplies (food, medicines) – which must be done infrequently (no more than once a day), with advice to use food delivery services wherever possible.
  • Medical reasons or to provide care for a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work when you absolutely cannot work from home.
  • Under-18s moving between the homes of separated parents.

In addition (pdf):

  • All non-essential business premises (online and delivery services are still allowed) should close. The only businesses allowed to remain open are food-related businesses (including market stalls selling food, takeaways and food delivery services), pharmacies, petrol stations, bicycle stores, pet stores, laundrettes/dry cleaners, garages, corner shops/newsagents, post offices and banks.
  • All caravan sites, campsites, bed and breakfasts, holiday camps, hotels and alike are closed, except for those who are otherwise permanently resident there.
  • All leisure, cultural and community facilities are to close, except for those hosting essential voluntary or public services (food banks, homeless shelters).
  • All social gatherings (weddings, baptisms etc.) are cancelled and no more than two people are allowed to gather in public – including members of extended family who live outside the household. Funerals are an exception, though social distancing measures remain in place and live-streaming funerals “would be permissible”.

The measures are set to remain in place for three weeks (13th April 2020) and may be relaxed after this period (or possibly extended) if the evidence on the spread of coronavirus warrants it.

The police will be given powers to enforce the restrictions, with individuals and businesses facing potential prohibition notices and fines for violating the rules.