The UK in Lockdown
On 23rd March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new, stricter rules that have put the UK in lockdown, preventing people from leaving their homes in the ongoing effort to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.
These new measures are to be in place for the next three weeks, before being reviewed.
In this “moment of national emergency” the new rules are to help protect the NHS and save lives. What do these new rules mean for you?
You should remain in your home and can only leave for a few, very specific reasons which are outlined more below. You can leave your house for:
- Medical reasons, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
- Travelling to and from work
First of all, you can leave your home to pick up medicine, so you can (and should) head to your pharmacy to pick up your medication. It is very important to keep following your doctor’s advice, especially when it comes to prescription medication and ensure that you do not run out.
Most non-essential shops will now be closed. This includes outlets that sell items like clothing and electronics. Supermarkets, corner shops and pet shops will be allowed to remain open, as will laundromats, petrol stations, post offices and pharmacies. When visiting any of these, please ensure you are following rules on social distancing – this means you must keep at least 2m (6 feet) away from other people using these public spaces.
Travel to and from work is still allowed, but only if it is absolutely necessary. This is only in cases where it is not possible for you to work from home, and if your place of work is one of the key businesses or shops that are remaining open. If you must still commute to work, do what you can to minimize contact with other people.
Gatherings of more than two people in a public space who do not live together are no longer allowed and will be dispersed. You should not head out to meet friends and family members who don’t already live with you. Weddings and baptisms are to be postponed – however, funerals may still go ahead.
Public spaces and exercise:
Although the UK’s in lockdown, public spaces like parks will still be open, and you will be allowed to use them for exercise purposes. However, people should only leave the house for one session of exercise per day, be it bike riding, jogging, running or walking. While out and about, as with every other situation, practice social distancing from other people.
Split custody families:
According to Cabinet minister Michael Gove, parents who live separately will be allowed to move children, who are under the age of 18, between their homes.
How will the measures be enforced?
Police have been given powers to disperse groups of people, and, should emergency legislation be passed on Thursday, fines can be issued. It isn’t known yet how large the fines might be. As a community who are all dealing with the same issue together, we should hold ourselves accountable to the new measures and do our part to stop the virus spreading.
We are not alone:
With the UK in lockdown, it is important to remember that it isn’t the only country taking these extra measures to protect its citizens. Italy is already in a similar lockdown, and Germany has stopped gatherings of more than two people in public. Furthermore, we have the benefit of living in the future! Staying at home doesn’t mean you are isolated anymore, make the most of technology that can link you to communities like the Diabetes Forum.