Published On: Sun, Mar 22nd, 2020

Coronavirus map LIVE: Boris Johnson orders Britons to ‘stay at home’ | UK | News

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned Britons that “tougher measures” may be brought in across the country if social distancing is not respected. Mr Johnson encouraged the positive impact on mental health for Brits to go outside and exercise – but warned social distancing measures must be abided by. When asked about whether he would bring in harsher measures, and potentially the police, Mr Johnson said: “I say as firmly as I can, going outside and exercising outdoors, you have got to take account of medical advice and social distancing. If people can’t do that – won’t do that, then, of course, we will bring in tougher measures. We don’t want to do that but that may well be necessary.” It comes as a number of European countries have already implemented a strict lockdown for their citizens to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The single best present that we can give is to spare them the risk of catching a very dangerous disease

Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister has also used his Twitter account to speak out concerning the spread of the virus in the UK.

He has urged people to consider staying home to save the lives of others. Previously the Prime Minister has issued warnings on social distancing and increased preventative measures to stem virus transmission in the UK.

He tweeted: “We will get through this together, and we will beat the virus. To win this fight, we need everyone to follow our advice: as far as possible, we want you to stay at home. The more effectively everyone does this, the faster this country will recover.”

But some have hit out at the Prime Minister’s response.

GMB presenter Piers Morgan tweeted: “The most effective way to do this is to make it compulsory, as most other countries have now done.

“You made a catastrophic mistake with ‘herd immunity’ that cost us 2 weeks – why are you now making another with only partial lockdown?”


The PM has warned people to stay at home (Image: Getty)

Mr Johnson has said fighting back against the virus will be like a “war”.

However, he is also confident the UK can “send the virus packing” within the next four weeks, urging people today to avoid visiting vulnerable relatives on Mother’s Day. 

He has continued to urge Brits to avoid mass gatherings, to stay at home as much as possible, and to practice social distancing where possible.

Professor Chris Whitty also tweeted about the issue, saying: “It is very important that people who are at very high risk protect themselves by staying at home at all times. Guidance has been published listing these conditions and the actions to take.”


Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson gives a coronavirus update with (Image: PA)

11:10pm update:  ‘Essential travel’ advice update

UK residents have been told that “essential travel” does not include visits to any second homes, camp sites, or caravan parks.

This is regardless of whether it is for isolation purposes or holidays.

Brits are being told they should remain in their primary residence.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport updated its guidance to avoid non-essential travel in the UK, saying: “This guidance is for people planning to visit second homes or holiday premises during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People should remain in their primary residence.

“Not taking these steps puts additional pressure on communities and services that are already at risk.”

Additional reporting by Rebekah Evans

9.20pm update: Boris Johnson facing “mutiny”

Cabinet Ministers and aides are reportedly turning on Boris Johnson unless he enforces stricter coronavirus measures.

According to BuzzFeed, Cabinet ministers and aides in UK government reportedly discussing “mutiny” if UK Prime Minister Johnson does not enforce lockdown “soon” due to COVID-19.

8.30pm update: All McDonald’s restaurants in UK and Ireland to close

All McDonald’s restaurants in UK and Ireland are set to close at 7pm on March 23 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A statement read: “We have taken the difficult decision to close all McDonald’s restaurants in the UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 23rd March at the latest.

“This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but one made with the well-being and safety of our employees in mind as well as in the best interests of our customers.

“We will work with local community groups to responsibly distribute food and drink from our restaurants in the coming days.”

7.42pm update: Leeds closes playgrounds over coronavirus

Leeds city council says all playgrounds in its parks are to close from tomorrow to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Boris Johnson was quizzed on Sunday afternoon about whether children should still be taken to the park by parents.

The Prime Minister insisted that social distancing needed to be followed correctly of “further measures” may be implemented.

7.15pm update: First COVID-19 death confirmed in Czech Republic

The first patient with COVID-19 has died in the Czech Republic.

He was a 55-year-old man hospitalised at Bulovka Hospital.

The death was confirmed by Deputy Minister of Health Roman Prymula.

6.30pm update: Angela Merkel in self-isolation

Angela Merkel is in quarantine after coming into contact with a doctor who had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The German Chancellor will continue to work from home and submit repeated tests over the next few days.

6.00pm update: Boris warns about further lockdown measures

Last Friday the Prime Minister brought in “draconian” measures to try to halt the spread of Covid-19 as he told pubs, bars and restaurants to shut.

But on Sunday evening the Prime Minister warned at “tougher measures” if social distancing was not respected.

Speaking at Downing Street, he said: “I say as firmly as I can, going outside and exercising outdoors, you have got to take account of medical advice and social distancing.

“If people can’t do that – won’t do that, then, of course, we will bring in tougher measures.

“We don’t want to do that but that may well be necessary.”

5.30pm update: Boris unveils new measures to protect the vulnerable

Boris Johnson unveiled new measures to protect the most vulnerable in the UK.

He said: “Even if you think you are personally not vulnerable – there are plenty of people you can infect and lives are at risk. Take this advice seriously, follow it, it is absolutely crucial.

“As I have said, we will keep the implementation of these measures under constant review. Remember in following this advice. Remember each and every one of us, you, are doing your bit in following this advice.

“The more we slow the spread, the more time we give the NHS to prepare, the more lives we will save, and the faster we will get through this.”

The Government will create a network of local hubs to deliver medicines by pharmacists to the most vulnerable.

Groceries will be delivered by councils working with supermarkets, with “parcels left on the doorstep”.

5.00pm update: Death toll surges in the UK

The coronavirus death toll in the UK has reached 281, the Government said.

The confirmed COVID-19 cases in Britain also reached 5,683.

4.50pm update: Greece imposes coronavirus curfew

Greece has imposed a curfew restricting movement to combat the spread of coronavirus.

It will be in force from Monday.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised address: “It is maybe the last step, one that must be taken promptly and not in vain. We have to protect the common good, our health.”

4.45pm update: Spain will restrict entry for next 30 days

Spain is to restrict access to the country at air and sea ports to stem the pandemic. 

The ban will commence at midnight for the next 30 days, the Interior Ministry confirmed. 


Coronavirus death rate chart (Image: nc)

4.35pm update: Angela Merkel spotted buying toilet roll and wine in local shop amid coronavirus chaos

Angela Merkel has been spotted at a local supermarket during the coronavirus pandemic.

Germany’s Chancellor visited the Hit Ullrich shop yesterday for an afternoon shopping trip.

She was pictured filing her shopping cart with a variety of goods including a roll of toilet paper and four bottles of wine.

4.07pm update: No Blitz spirit in modern day Britain ‘every man for himself’ – readers share war memories

An poll has revealed most respondents believe there is no such thing as Blitz spirit amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Many spoke of panic buying, greed and a selfish attitude as their reasons for believing Blitz Spirit was long gone.

Read more here.

3.02pm update: Northern Ireland reports second coronavirus death

Northern Ireland has reported its second death from covid-19 today.

The patient was elderly and suffered from an underlying health condition, the country’s department of health said.

Health minister, Robin Swann, said: “This heartbreaking news should bring it home to every one of us that coronavirus is a real and present danger across our community.”

2.54pm update: Nicola Sturgeon speaks about shopping

“I know how difficult this is for people, but we need for people to be listening clearly about what they are going to do.”

She urged people to consider whether their contact with one another is entirely necessary.

She stated this included supermarket shopping, and that people should only shop for essential items.

Ms Sturgeon also said if a shop was too crowded, her advice was to leave it. 

2.47pm update: Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer speaks about outbreak 

Dr Catherine Calderwood said: “We do not have an option. We must pay attention to change our behaviour to save lives.

“What we want to do is reduce avoidable deaths, the deaths that will occur if our NHS is overwhelmed. Those deaths do not need to happen.

“Everyone should be examining their own behaviour, saying what is it I can do to help, but also, if I do have this virus, what can I do to stop giving it to other people?

“If we do not take this virus seriously, those deaths will become unavoidable.”

2.45pm update: Nicola Sturgeon speaks about school places

Nicola Sturgeon has said there will be a priority regarding school places for those who are essential key workers.

She has stated those who are NHS key workers should get the first choice on school places, and then if there are any places left over, they will be given out at schools’ discretion. 

She stated: “We will not compromise public health. We simply cannot have too many people in our schools and nurseries.”

She has also stated any pupil with coursework to complete should not attend school with immediate effect. 

2.42pm update: Nicola Sturgeon hits out at those who are not listening to the Government

Nicola Sturgeon has slammed those pubs and clubs who are not listening to the Government advice to close down.

She said: “By staying open, they put lives at risk. Close now. We will have emergency powers within days to close you down, and we will do so.”

2.40pm update: Nicola Sturgeon issues advise

The First Minister has urged people to avoid mass gatherings including wedding receptions, pubs, parks and beaches.

She says the advice is “for your own protection” and is not a recommendation but a set of rules to be followed. 

2.37pm update: Scotland update

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said: “No part of Scotland will not be affected by this virus.

“No corner of Scotland is not at risk from seeing some of itis residents die from it.

“If we all do the right thing now, we risk losing lives, we risk our NHS being overwhelmed. To protect Scotland we must all do the right thing. Your life should not be normal right now, so if it is, you need to think if you are doing the right thing.”


Symptoms of coronavirus (Image: EXPRESS)

2.33pm update: Man in court over ‘fake coronavirus test kits’

A man has appeared in court accused of manufacturing fake test kits for the coronavirus and attempting to sell them worldwide, police have said.

Frank Ludlow, 59, of West Sussex was arrested at a Post Office nearby to his home on Friday.

This followed 60 coronavirus kits being seized by the police in the United States.

The kits were labelled as “anti-pathogenic” treatment, and City of London Police said they were sent from the UK.

It is alleged the testing kits contained chemicals “extremely harmful” to the user – who is asked to wash and rinse their mouth with them, said police.

2.22pm update: Scotland update

The Scottish Government has said three more people have sadly died from the coronavirus outbreak.

This brings the death toll in Scotland to 10, and the total in the UK to 243.

2.15pm update: Spain update

The number of cases in the country has risen from 24,926 to 28,572 within just one day. And according to multiple media outlets within the country, the death toll has soared from 1,326 to 1,720. The country is now only behind China and Italy in the number of recorded cases of the coronavirus. 

2.10pm update: Switzerland update

Switzerland has recorded an increase of 900 cases in 24 hours, the nation’s health ministry has announced.

This brings the total confirmed infections in the country to 7,014.

There are also at least 60 deaths reported in the country.

1.50pm update: Sadiq Khan warns Londoners to stay at home as much as possible during the outbreak

Speaking to BBC’s Andrew Marr, Mr Khan said: “I’m quite clear that unless people stay at home, unless people stop using public transport, unless it’s essential, unless people stop interacting with each other, more people will die.

“Please, please, please stop mixing, stay at home.”

1.20pm update: Irish Deputy PM gives coronavirus update

The Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney has said the Irish Government will be introducing a “significant package” in the coming days for employees and those who have lost their jobs.

The measure is a new response to the coronavirus outbreak.

1.15pm update: French doctor dies of coronavirus

Coronavirus has claimed the life of the first medical professional in France, the country’s health minister has announced.

Olivier Veran paid tribute to front-line medical staff, and expressed his sympathies over the fatality.

The doctor who passed away was an emergency specialist who worked at a Compiegne hospital, a region north of Paris, public television reported. 

Mr Veran said: “The medical profession is making a heavy sacrifice in our country today.”

1.05pm update: Premier League could restart in June, reports say

The Premier League have planned to reconvene the abandoned season on June 1, and complete it within six weeks.

Reports from The Telegraph have said bosses hope to complete all fixtures by mid-July, with a four week break followed by the new season on August 8.

Under the plan, games would be played behind closed doors. 


There are hundreds of thousands of cases of coronavirus across the world (Image: Getty)

12.50pm update: Singapore update

Singapore have reported 23 new cases of the coronavirus in the country.

This brings the total to 455. 

12.40pm update: Iran’s Supreme Leader slams America for offer of coronavirus help

Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has slammed the offer of support from Americans to fight the coronavirus.

He said: “You Americans are accused of engineering coronavirus. I do not know how true this claim is, but as long as the accusation stands which sensible person would trust you to accept your offer of help?

“Possibly your offered medicine is a way to spread the virus more.”

Iran has said 21,638 people have contracted covid-19 in the country. 

12.30pm update: Sinn Fein leader hits out at Irish Government

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald has hit out at the Irish Government for what she believes is a double standard concerning coronavirus.

Ms McDonald has said Irish Government ministers should not criticise young people for meeting up to socialise, whilst still permitting gatherings of up to 500 people in the country. 

She remarked:  “The mixed messages must stop. People in workplaces where there is no real prospect of social distancing are also worried that they are bringing the virus home.

“They ask why it is that – in this race against time – the Government have not yet introduced full measures to protect them and to give full effect to social distancing?

“It is time now to scale up emergency measures and restrictions. Other countries have learned, to their cost, that delay costs lives. We don’t want to learn that lesson here.”

12.10pm update: Tesco branch criticised for coronavirus response

A Tesco branch in Lewes has been criticised for letting in masses of people in the so-called ‘Golden Hour’ because of long queues outside.

The company recently announced it would be opening early for NHS staff members and the vulnerable, however, the policy was allegedly switched.

One social media user tweeted: “Tesco have been praised for opening 1 hr early on Sundays for NHS staff. But my mum (a frontline NHS worker) went to Tesco in Lewes this morning & came back shocked – huge numbers of non-NHS staff were let in before the hour was up.

“When she asked a manager why, he said there were lots of people queueing outside, so they let them in.

“Not sticking to NHS-only hours doesn’t just defeat the purpose of allocating those hours in the first place – it actively makes NHS staff & hospital patients less safe by increasing risk of infection.”

12.00pm update: Malaysia deploys army to tackle coronavirus

Malaysia has deployed the Army to ensure a two-week halt on travel.

The country has southeast Asia’s highest number of coronavirus cases – with 3,460 infections, and 86 deaths, most of them in Indonesia. 

11.45am update: Australia announces new restrictions

Australia has announced new restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the closure of pubs, clubs, cinemas, restaurants and places of worship as a result of the outbreak in the country.

However, he has said schools will remain open for the time being. 


The Government’s plan to fight back against coronavirus (Image: EXPRESS)

11.30am update: NHS doctors plea to PM for more help with coronavirus pandemic

Nearly 4,000 NHS frontline workers have written an open letter to the Prime Minister, pleading for more help with the coronavirus pandemic.

In the letter published in the Sunday Times, the NHS workers have asked the Prime Minister to “protect the lives of the life-savers” by providing the health service with more of the equipment it desperately needs to fight back against the virus. 

They have stated many medics do not have the appropriate protective equipment necessary to treat patients, putting more lives at risk, and have asked for more masks, safety glasses, protective suits, aprons and gloves. 

The letter read: “Front-line doctors have been telling us for weeks that they do not feel safe at work.

“Intensive care doctors and anaesthetists have told us they have been carrying out the highest-risk procedure, putting a patient on a ventilator, with masks that expired in 2015.”

11.20am update: First coronavirus death in Kosovo

A 82-year old man has died in Kosovo after contracting the coronavirus – the country has 31 confirmed cases.

The news was confirmed by the Kosovo Public Health Institute.

A statement from the Institute read: “Patient already had chronic illness, cardio and pulmonary.”

11.06am update: Wales update

A further seven patients have succumbed to the coronavirus in Wales.

Dr Frank Atherton, chief medical officer for Wales, announced the increase in the death toll, saying this now brings the total of patients who have died from the virus there has now reached 12.

10.55am update: Housing Secretary says it is ‘too early’ to say how long coronavirus restrictions will be in place

Robert Jenrick has said it is too early to know how long coronavirus restrictions will need to stay in place.

Speaking to BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he said: “The truth is we don’t know. Different countries are proceeding at different paces. We are in a different stage of this virus from some other European and international examples.

“Nobody is pretending that this will be over in 12 weeks. What the Prime Minister said is that if everyone follows the advice, we can turn the tide on this virus within that period.”

10.30am update: Britons urged to cancel Mother’s Day plans

Britons are being urged to cancel their Mother’s Day plans to visit relatives today, as part of social distancing measures, especially for the elderly. 

Boris Johnson urged people to stay away from family gatherings as health chiefs scrambled to stop the spread of the disease across the country.

8.30am update: Romania confirms first coronavirus death

The Romanian government has confirmed the first coronavirus death in the country.

The victim was a 67-year-old man who had been suffering from terminal cancer.

He was confirmed to be infected with coronavirus on March 18 and was being treated in a hospital in the southern Romanian city of Craiova.

Romania, which has recorded 367 cases of coronavirus to date, declared a state of emergency on March 16.

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