Severe restrictions on movement in the North announced

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just announced a raft of restrictions which people are being urged to follow amid the coronavirus outbreak.

From tonight, people will be allowed to leave their homes for –

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible.
  • one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle, alone or with members of their household;
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person;
  • travelling to and from work, but only where it is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home

He says this is not a lockdown, but it’s as close as you can get to one without it being called a lockdown.


The restrictions will remain in place for at least three weeks, and police will have the power to enforce the rules through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Mr Johnson says the government will immediately –

  • close all shops selling non-essential goods,​ including clothing and electronic stores – as well as other premises like libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship
  • stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with
  • stop all social events​, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but allow funerals

Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings of more than two people will be dispersed, he says.

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