What is the latest Coronavirus government advice on what I need to do?
Stay at home.
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government has stated that:
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons.
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
These four reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
These measures were effective immediately (from 23 March). The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.
On Friday 20 March, the Government ordered certain businesses - including pubs, cinemas and theatres - to close.
The Government has extended this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues, including:
- all non-essential retail stores - this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
- libraries, community centres, and youth centres.
- indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
- communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
- places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
- hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers)
To make sure people are staying at home and apart from each other, the Government is also stopping all public gatherings of more than two people.
There are only two exceptions to this rule:
- where the gathering is of a group of people who live together - this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.
- where the gathering is essential for work purposes - but workers should be trying to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.
In addition, the Government has stopped social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. This will exclude funerals, which can be attended by immediate family.