Britain deploys police to enforce national lockdown as death toll reaches 335
London, March 24, 2020 (AltAfrica)-British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has ordered a national locked down in UK for the next three weeks and told people to stay at home in the latest bid to throttle the spread of coronavirus.
In an unprecedented approach, the PM told the people to voluntarily obey the new restriction order or be forced to do so by the police
The UK death toll has reached 335.
In a televised statement from Downing Street, Boris Johnson said people will now only be allowed to leave their homes for very limited purposes and police forces will have the powers to enforce the new measures, including by issuing fines and dispersing gatherings
In the Monday night address, Mr Johnson said:
- Britons must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, for exercise but only once a day, any medical need and travel to work but only if essential.
- Shops selling non-essential goods will also be closed and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together are being prohibited.
- Other premises including libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms, and places of worship must also shut.
- Funerals can still go ahead but weddings have been banned, as have baptisms and other ceremonies.
- Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed, with police being handed the power to step in and enforce the new measures.
Mr Johnson said the restrictions would be kept under constant review.
“We will look again in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows we are able to,” he added.
Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said the new restrictions were “sensible”.
“The majority of people are already making real sacrifices to save lives and we urge everyone to follow the advice that is designed to keep us all safe,” he said.
“We are working with the government and other agencies to consider how these new rules can be most effectively enforced.”
But Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said he was already seeing “large amounts of sickness” among officers across London and enforcing the new restrictions would be “a real, real challenge”.
“We will be dealing with it, but I’m not sure we will have the resources to be able to see it through,” he added.