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Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlines lockdown plan to fight coronavirus in address to the nation

By Gregor White

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Gatherings of more than two people will not be allowed in public – with police given powers to enforce new restrictions.

The Prime Minister has said more stringent restrictions are necessary to limit the rise in coronavirus diagnoses and the risk of overwhelming the NHS.

All shops selling "non-essential" goods are to be closed.

Supermarkets will remain open, along with pharmacies and funeral parlours.

People are being told they should leave the house only for shopping to buy basic necessities; for one form of exercise per day, either alone or with people with whom they share a home; for any medical need or to provide care to a vulnerable person; to travel to and from work where this is unavoidable.

Police will have powers to disperse gatherings that breach the rules and/ or issue fines.

Mr Johnson said: "We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together and I therefore urge you at this moment of national emergency to stay and home, protect our NHS and save lives."

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