Coronavirus lockdown: Wartime papers to leave the house is next step – Gove backed plan

Prime Minister Boris Johnson placed the nation on a police-enforced lockdown with drastic new measures in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic during a dramatic TV address to the nation on Monday night. Analysts were quick to point out the moves ran counter to Mr Johnson’s famously libertarian values but it has since become clear other ministers were calling for MUCH tougher restrictions, bordering on martial law.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove was calling for wartime measures people requiring people to carry official papers before they are allowed to leave their homes.

A minister told how Mr Gove, whose department manages the response to COVID-19, had called for robust rules to enforce a UK lockdown.

In an off-the-record briefing he told The Financial Times: “At the weekend Mr Gove was proposing that you should need to have papers to leave your house, French style.”

Please sign up to pledge your support now to our brave NHS Heroes

The Prime Minister has ordered people should only leave their homes for very limited purposes.

He has banned public gatherings of more than two people and ordered the closure of non-essential shops.

The dramatic steps come after millions of British people ignored social distancing advice over the weekend sparking anger among MPs.

As the nation faced one of its gravest ever threats crowds flocked to parks, markets, beaches and beauty spots.

A minister said of Mr Johnson before he ordered the lockdown: “He’s finding this whole thing tough.

“Boris likes freedom and he likes to be liked. But he needs to bite the bullet and accept we need tougher measures now. Otherwise he will pay for it later.”

And last night Mr Johnson finally succumbed to pressure and placed the UK on lockdown, threatening police fines for anyone who ignores new measures.

The Prime Minister detailed a short list of reasons why individuals can leave their homes as he ordered the immediate closure of all shops selling non-essentials items.

He ordered people to only leave the house to shop for basic necessities “as infrequently as possible” and to perform one form of exercise a day.

During a televised address from within Downing Street, he said people could only seek medical help, provide care to a vulnerable person or travel to work if “absolutely necessary”.

He said: “That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home.

“You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say No. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.

“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

To ensure people follow the rules, Mr Johnson ordered the immediate closure of non-essential stores including those selling electronics and clothing.

All public gatherings of more than two people – other than those you live with – will be barred.

Other premises being shuttered are libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship.

And, while parks will remain open for exercise, all social events including weddings and baptisms will be stopped. Funerals, however, can continue.

Mr Johnson said the measures will be “under constant review” and will be considered for relaxation in three weeks’ time if the evidence allows.

Source: Read Full Article