The Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced in decades – and this country is not alone. All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this invisible killer. Which is why the Government is working to a scientifically-led, step-by-step action plan – taking the right measures at the right time.
In dealing with this unprecedented challenge, what everyone must recognise is that our NHS – like any health service around the world – only has a limited number of doctors, nurses, and specialist equipment. This means it can only deal with so many sick people at once.
The more people that get sick with Coronavirus at any one time the harder it is for the NHS to cope – meaning more people are likely to die from the Coronavirus, as well as other serious illnesses. Therefore, if we can slow the spread of Coronavirus so fewer people are sick at any one time, we can protect the NHS’s ability to cope.
That’s why, in addition to lifting the capacity of the NHS, the Government is asking everyone to stay at home – unless they have one of the reasons that have been set out. It’s simply the best weapon we have to slow the spread of the virus. That way we can protect the NHS and save lives.
During this difficult time for the country, we recognise the extreme disruption the necessary actions are having on people’s lives, their businesses, their jobs and the nation’s economy. And that’s why we have produced a huge and unprecedented programme of support both for workers and for business, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure people can pay their bills, stay in their home and put food on their table.
We know this will not be a short battle – beating Coronavirus will take months, not weeks. But the Government is keeping all the current restrictions, and any further action that might be required, under constant review and they will be relaxed if and when the evidence shows we are able to.
However, the reality is the way ahead is hard and many lives will sadly be lost. But as we have so many times in the past, the people of the United Kingdom will rise to this current challenge and we will beat the Coronavirus together.
At this moment of national emergency – it is vital that we all stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.
Stay at home
You must stay at home, only leaving for the following very limited purposes:
- 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 your immediate household.
- Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Protect the NHS
You must stay at home to protect the NHS:
- The NHS only has a limited number of doctors, nurses and specialist equipment.
- We are working around the clock to increase NHS capacity.
- The more people who get sick, the harder it is for the NHS to cope.
- We must slow the spread of the disease so that fewer people are sick at any one time.
You must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. The police will have the powers to enforce the following restrictions:
- Dispersing gatherings of more than two people in public, excluding people you live with.
- Issuing fines to anyone who does not comply with these rules.
- Closing shops that are not essential, as well as playgrounds and places of worship.
The latest action we have taken:
- Written to the leaders of all opposition parties in Parliament, inviting them to a briefing with the Prime Minister, the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser next week. The Prime Minister will listen to the views of other opposition leaders and update them on the measures his Government has taken so far, including rapidly expanding testing and providing unprecedented support for businesses and people across the country.
- Stepping up plans to bring Britons stranded overseas home, ensuring airlines can continue to operate and bring people back home safely. The Government is ramping up efforts to bring home thousands of travellers stranded overseas by coronavirus with a new package of extra flights and 10 additional airlines joining the scheme to keep commercial routes open and get British people back to the UK.
- Taking action in our prisons to prevent thousands of prisoners from catching coronavirus so we can protect the NHS. We will temporarily release selected low-risk offenders who are already near the end of their sentences, on strict conditions and subject to electronic tagging, in order to avoid thousands of prisoners becoming infected and overwhelming the NHS.
- Asking people to share their coronavirus symptoms in order to help the NHS coordinate its response and gain a better understanding of the virus. The information gathered will help the NHS to plan its response to the outbreak, indicating when and where more resources like oxygen, ventilators and additional staff might be needed and will provide valuable insight into the development and progression of the virus across the country.
For awareness: The Prime Minister’s health
As the Prime Minister said on Friday, he is feeling better but he still has one of the mild symptoms.
So, in accordance with Government advice, he is continuing his self-isolation until that symptom goes.
The Prime Minister continues to lead the work across Government to defeat coronavirus.