New stricter measures aimed at tackling the spread of coronavirus have been introduced, which include a ban of public gatherings of more than two people.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said people should leave home only to exercise once a day, travel to and from work where absolutely necessary, shop for essential items and to fulfil any medical or care needs.
He also ordered the immediate closure of shops selling non-essential goods - see details below.
The measures will be reviewed in three weeks.
Johnson said the country faced a “national emergency" and the new stricter measures were essential to tackle "the biggest threat this country has faced for decades".
Police and local authorities will have powers to disperse gatherings, including through fines.
The new guidance says people should only leave their homes for one of four reasons:
- Shopping for basic necessities such as food and medicine. Shopping trips should be as infrequent as possible
- One form of exercise a day such as a run, walk or cycle. This should be done alone or only with people you live with
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. This includes moving children under the age of 18 between their parents' homes, where applicable. Key workers or those with children identified as vulnerable can continue to take their children to school
- Travelling to and from work, but only where work absolutely cannot be done from home
Even when following the above guidance, people should minimise the amount of time spent out of their homes and should keep two metres away from people they do not live with.
Last week, the Government ordered certain businesses - including pubs, cinemas and theatres - to close.
The Government is now extending this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues, including:
- All non-essential retail stores - this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
- Libraries, community centres, and youth centres.
- Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
- Communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
- Places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
- Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers).
Businesses and other venues not on this list may remain open.
Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Government is available from Gov.uk.