LONDON – Observe social distancing or face ‘tougher measures’

The government will have to impose stricter rules on movement if people continue to flout guidelines on social distancing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Sunday (23 March).

All pubs, restaurants and cafes have been told to close but the government is concerned that too many people are not observing the rules of keeping at least two metres away from others, as Britons flocked to the coast and public parks at the weekend.

“If you don’t do it responsibly… we will have to bring forward further measures,” said Johnson.

Although the death toll from coronavirus has increased to 281, the government’s medical advisors have warned that the spike in confirmed cases and deaths is likely to continue over the next two weeks.

The government’s deputy chief medical adviser, Dr Jenny Harries, said around 12% of adult critical care beds in hospitals in England are currently occupied by patients with the virus.

Meanwhile, ministers are under pressure to offer comparable wage protections to self-employed workers who were excluded from the government’s promise to continue to pay up to 80% of the wages of employees with firms hit by the coronavirus crisis.

Read more about how the UK is dealing with the pandemic: here.

(Benjamin Fox |

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