' Stop non-essential contact and all unnecessary travel' - PM Johnson

Cheryl Sanders
March 17, 2020

The rules surrounding social contact are particularly pertinent for individuals over the age of 70, pregnant women, and those with pre-existing health conditions. And unlike schools in most other European countries, those in Britain remain open.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said more stringent restrictions were needed as more cases were detected, to slow infection rates and protect the elderly and most vulnerable in society.

He also said that if anyone in a household has one of the two Covid-19 symptoms - a new, continuous cough or high temperature, - then EVERYONE in the household should stay at home for fourteen days.

"That means, if possible you should not go out - even to buy food or essentials".

"Instead of spouting off nonsense and waffle, the Prime Minister should have had a clear plan akin to what Norway, Sweden and Denmark are implementing, not just for hospitality workers but everyone who'll be affected".

So third, in a few days' time - by this coming weekend - it will be necessary to go further and to ensure that those with the most serious health conditions are largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks. People should also avoid unnecessary travel and work from home where possible, he said.

"I think what the documents reflect is the reasonable worst-case scenario which we have set out very clearly in the plan we published a week ago now", he said.

The answer is that we are asking people to do something that is hard and disruptive of their lives.


I know that today we are asking a lot of everybody.

Advice has not yet been issued on exactly which illnesses this will include, but England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said "people who in adult life would normally be advised to have the flu vaccination" could be included.

Whitty said: "People should be thinking of a minimum of weeks to months and, depending how it goes, it may be longer".

"My colleagues here in the USA, even as they are reeling from the stumbling response of the Donald Trump administration to the crisis, assumed that reports of the United Kingdom policy were satire - an example of the wry humour for which the country is famed".

The government's advisors on Monday night said that even if the strategy works, around 20,000 people will die.

Last Friday, the coronavirus pandemic wiped out most of the world's major sporting events in an unprecedented 24 hours. However, there is growing anger among business groups over who will pay for the huge economic costs of the shutdown. The failure to order the closure of many hospitality venues means that the costs can not be claimed on insurance.

But he said the country has reached the critical moment when without drastic action, the number of cases would double every five days.

He said this meant that "without drastic action" - spanning the whole of the United Kingdom - cases could double every five or six days.


"Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel", Mr Johnson said at a news conference in Downing Street.

For over-70s, looking after grandchildren and taking them to school is contrary to official advice.

Mr Johnson said there should be "no exceptions", including MPs and peers.

He added that the advice for those over 70 extends to MPs and Lords in parliament, with no exceptions.

He said he may have to lay off almost 90 members of staff across four pubs in and around London.

Experts have already warned this could be a year off.

"Children will be at home for quite a considerable period of time, given that when we do close the schools they will be closed for at least 16 weeks", said Ms.


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