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Government introduces 'drastic action' against coronavirus

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked everyone to 'stop non-essential contact' with others regardless of whether they have coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms.

In the first of what will be daily briefings, Mr Johnson said this comes as scientific advisers say the epidemic is now reaching a stage of 'fast growth' in the UK.

He said this meant that 'without drastic action' spanning the whole of the UK cases could double every five or six days.

He said:

  • People with symptoms should stay at home for 14 days and don't go out except for exercise.
  • People should avoid pubs and clubs and work from home where at all possible.
  • From tomorrow, the Government will not be supporting mass gatherings with emergency workers.
  • From the weekend, it will become necessary to ask the most vulnerable to stay shielded for 12 weeks.

He said: 'Last week we asked everyone to stay at home if you had one of two key symptoms: a high temperature; or a new and continuous cough. Today we need to go further, because according to SAGE - the scientific advisory committee on emergencies - it looks as though we are now approaching the fast growth part of the upward curve, and without drastic action cases could double every five or six days.

'So first we need to ask you to ensure that if you, or anyone in your household, has one of those two symptoms, then you should stay at home for 14 days. That means that, if possible, you should not go out even to buy food or essentials, other than for exercise and in that case at a safe distance from others.'

He said people in self-isolation should 'ask for help from others' for their 'daily necessities', or if impossible do what they can to limit contact with others when they leave the house to get supplies.

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