Friday, December 8, 2023

Three Week Lockdown

At 8.30pm last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave his nightly statement of changes from Downing Street in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has taken 335 lives in Britain so far.

The statement explained strict new rules which everyone in the UK must follow.

For the next 3 weeks people can only leave their homes for 4 reasons:

  • to exercise once a day
  • to travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”
  • to shop for food
  • for personal medical needs/the care of vulnerable people.

All shops selling non-essential goods have been told to shut and gatherings in public of more than two people are banned.

If people do not follow the rules, the police will enforce them.

Mr. Johnson said that this was a “moment of national emergency” and that staying at home was necessary to protect the NHS and to save lives.  He said that this is “the biggest threat this country has faced for decades”.

The restrictions will be in place for at least three weeks and will be constantly reviewed.

When you CAN go outside:
  • Shopping for basic necessities such as food and medicine. Shopping trips should be as infrequent as possible
  • One form of exercise a day such as a run, walk, or cycle. This should be done alone or only with people you live with
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. This includes moving children under the age of 18 between their parents’ homes, where applicable. Key workers or those with children identified as vulnerable can continue to take their children to school
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where work absolutely cannot be done from home

When outside for those reasons, people should still minimise the amount of time spent out of their homes and should keep two metres (6ft) away from any other person.

Further bans have been announced for all social events,  This includes weddings, baptisms and all other ceremonies, but does not include funerals.

Businesses which can stay open:

  • Banks
  • Post Offices
  • Supermarkets and other food shops, including market stalls
  • Restaurants, cafes and work canteens – but only for food delivery and takeaway services
  • “Health shops” such as pharmacies
  • Petrol stations, garages and car rental businesses
  • Bicycle shops
  • Home and hardware shops
  • Launderettes and dry cleaners
  • Pet shops
  • Corner shops & newsagents

All non-essential shops are ordered closed. All non-essential premises are ordered closed. This includes libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms including outdoor sessions, and places of worship.

Parks will remain open for exercise but people are not allowed to gather in groups, or use play equipment.

Community centres can open but only if they are “hosting essential voluntary or public services”, such as food banks or service for homeless people.

Hotels, hostels, campsites and caravan parks must also close with the exception of catering for key workers and people who cannot return to their home.

The Prime Minister said,

“Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses.

“And as we have seen elsewhere, in other countries that also have fantastic health care systems, that is the moment of real danger.

“To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it – meaning more people are likely to die, not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well.”

This is not the most extreme level of response.  If people don’t behave as they have been told, the government could trigger Civil Contingencies Act.  This act was designed for the most serious emergencies and it gives ministers harsh and strong powers.  This lockdown is not as severe as those seen in other countries and has happened in response to people ignoring the advice to truly distance themselves, to suppress the virus.

Every system is struggling to keep up with British behaviour

Stay indoors, ask for help if you need it, don’t break the rules, don’t hoard, wash your hands, Don’t Panic!

Clare Washbrook

Current Editor-in-Chief News and magazine editor since 1995 Post-grads: Literature; Theatre; Journalism, Ethics & Law Community Affiliations: Belper Goes Green, Belper's WW1 Poppies, Amber Valley Solidarity No political party memberships/affiliations.

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