Boris Johnson warned the British public today that they had 24 hours to take social distancing measures seriously or he will implement an Italian-style total lockdown after thousands continued to flout anti-coronavirus measures.
Dailymail reports the PM as saying that there was ‘no doubt’ he would act to close open spaces and limit all movement outside homes if people continued to act foolishly, as the UK death toll rose by 48 in just 24 hours to 281 people, with more than 5,600 confirmed cases.
It came amid appalling scenes as Britons across the UK flocked to beaches and parks up and down the country to take a stroll with their loved ones for Mother’s Day, despite social distancing advice from the government surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The surge in cases of the virus comes on the day Mr Johnson urged families to stay apart and instead celebrate Mother’s Day via Skype and other remote communications.
But in a tough message to the public from Downing Street this afternoon, Mr Johnson said that even though he understood the physical and mental health benefits of open spaces, he would take drastic steps to protect health.
He suggested the UK could copy some of the more extreme lockdowns in other parts of Europe, such as Italy and France.
‘I don’t think you need to use your imagination much to see where we might have to go,’ he said.
‘We will think about this very, very actively in the next 24 hours.
‘We need to think about the kinds of measures that we have seen elsewhere, other countries that have been forced to bring in restrictions on people’s movements altogether.
‘I don’t want to do that because I have tried to explain the public health benefits.’