London, UNITED KINGDOM – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a three-week lockdown in the United Kingdom on Monday evening, telling all non-essential businesses to close and ordering people to stay home all over his country.
“The time has now come for us all to do more,” Johnson told Great Britain in a television address on March 23, NBC News reported.
The Prime Minister said he wanted to “give the British people a very simple instruction: You must stay at home.”
Police will be enforcing the lockdown.
Under the UK order, gatherings of more than two people are banned, NBC News reported.
Johnson said people may leave their homes to shop for the “very basic necessities,” to exercise daily, for medical reasons, to provide care for someone needy, or to go to work “when absolutely necessary.”
He said all non-essential businesses were closed and all social events should be postponed, NBC News reported.
The prime minister said funerals could happen but only with close family in attendance.
Johnson had earlier closed down schools, pubs, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and gyms, but he resisted a wholesale lockdown of the population initially, NBC News reported.
He had threatened to take more drastic measures to restrict the population’s movement if people ignored warnings, NPR reported.
Johnson said law enforcement would assist with enforcing the new shutdown and cited reports of numerous British people who flocked to beaches last weekend despite coronavirus warnings that asked them not to congregate.