Boris Johnson announced just this afternoon that further measures will need to be taken to delay the spread of Coronavirus.
The Government held an emergency COBRA meeting today, following the WHO’s announcement on March 11 that COVID-19 was officially being considered a pandemic, with Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, chief of the WHO, saying he was “deeply concerned” by the “alarming levels of inaction” from some countries.
The COBRA meeting concluded that the UK will be required to take further social distancing measures to tackle Coronavirus, meaning workers will be encouraged to work from home, the general public will be advised to avoid non-essential contact with others, with Boris Johnson stating that people should avoid places such as pubs, restaurants, clubs, theatres and any other crowded places. As of 9am today, March 16, 1,391 cases have been confirmed in the UK and 35 people have died.
The Prime Minister said in a press conference today that we were entering the “fast growth part” of the virus here in the UK, continuing that “without drastic action, cases could double every five or six days”. While avoiding public and crowded places has been strongly advised, the Government are not currently asking shops, bars, restaurants and other establishments to close at this time. Boris Johnson confirmed businesses would be given support and liquidity, saying “this is going to be a very considerable challenge for businesses big and small”.
It has also been advised that those with mild symptoms should now isolate for 14 days and avoid calling 111 unless your condition deteriorates, due to increased strain on the service. Non-essential travel has also been advised against to stop the spread of the virus throughout communities.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated live with further information.