Coronavirus: Why the United Kingdom is keeping schools open

Cheryl Sanders
March 17, 2020

Johnson also said people should start working from home where they possibly can, in addition to avoiding theaters and other social venues, such as clubs and pubs.

Mass gatherings will no longer be supported by the government.

"It looks as though we are now approaching the fast growth part of the upward curve and without drastic action, cases could double every 5 or 6 days", Johnson said.

Johnson said: "That means that if possible, you should not go out, even to buy food or essentials, other than for exercise and in that case at a safe distance from others".

Mr Johnson has urged Britons to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres and stop non-essential travel in an effort to reduce the impact of the coronavirus.

"We should all only use the NHS when we really need to - please go online rather than ringing NHS 111".

Avoiding unnecessary social contact is particularly important for people over 70, for pregnant women and for those with some health conditions. "We should not be under any illusions that "if we just do this for a couple of weeks that is sufficient".

"We think at the moment, on balance, it's much better if we can keep schools open for all sorts of reasons".

Sir Patrick went on to explain why households are now being asked to isolate for 14 days - up from last week's advice for individuals to isolate for seven days if they have a cough or a fever.

The Prime Minister defended what he described as the "draconian" measures as being necessary to slow the spread of the virus.

Whitty also reaffirmed that people living in the same household as someone with coronavirus symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days.

On Sunday, health secretary Matt Hancock said over-70s could be told to stay at home for up to four months within the "coming weeks". "If we do things jointly then I think that the global markets will understand that we're all operating in the same sort of fiscal framework and I think we'll be much more successful that way".

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom has risen to 1,543, up from 1,372 the day before, the health ministry said on Monday.

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