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Boris Johnson finally puts the UK into lockdown, but Britons do not seem to care
Posted on 24/03/2020

SocietyUnited Kingdom

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After Boris Johnson told pubs, restaurants and social spaces to close on Friday evening, the UK has been criticised even more for not respecting self-isolation and social distancing advice, crowds flocking to parks, beaches and holiday hotspots over Mother's Day weekend.

When are people gonna get the message?

When are people gonna get the message?
© sergeychayko / 123RF

But as the death toll reached 335 in the UK, the Prime Minister finally got to tougher measures, putting the whole country into lockdown on Monday evening, as it had been requested for several weeks now.

The Prime Minister clearly stated there would be only four cases where you will be allowed to leave your house - shopping for basics and as infrequently as possible, exercising once a day (as long as it is on your own), travelling to work if you cannot work from home, and urgent medical appointments or caring for vulnerable people.

Unfortunately, it seems Britons still didn't get the message, as pictures of crowded London tubes emerged on Tuesday morning, just 12 hours after the announcement. But if people do not respect the measures still, what is the alternative to enforce rules and stop the virus?

The government has declared these lockdown measures would last for at least three weeks, and people not respecting these measures risk a fine of £30, that could potentially be "ramped up" in case of flouting. But looking at other countries which have been into lockdown for longer now - such as China, Italy, Spain and France, it is very unlikely that this will stop within three weeks, and we are potentially looking at a few months of quarantine.

When asked about the new and stricter measures, Boris Johnson admitted: "No Prime Minister wants to enact measures like this. I know the damage that this disruption is doing and will do to people's lives, to their businesses and to their jobs. At present there are just no easy options.The way ahead is hard, and it is still true that many lives will sadly be lost."

In face of such an unprecedented emergency, many things are happening at once, and the government is also hoping to pass a coronavirus emergency bill, giving the government wide-ranging powers. However, health Secretary Matt Hancock has stressed that those would only be used "when strictly necessary" and only until the crisis is over.