On Monday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the latest leader to announce a three week nationwide shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a televised statement, Johnson told U.K. citizens they must stay at home to help control the spread of the virus.
“I must give the British people a very simple instruction: you must stay home,” Johnson said. “Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.”
BREAKING: The UK is entering lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says: "you must stay at home" – unless you have a very specific reason to leave.
"If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them." pic.twitter.com/yqSOvt3qdS
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) March 23, 2020
Individuals will only be allowed to leave home to exercise once a day, if they are traveling to a job that is considered “absolutely necessary,” or to shop for essential needs.
According to the BBC, stores selling non-essential goods have been told to shut down entirely. Gathering in public with more than two people who do not live together is also prohibited under U.K.’s new shutdown.
As the U.K. death toll has reached 335, Johnson said the police now have the power to enforce these rules by dispersing crowds or potentially issuing fines.
“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them,” Johnson said.