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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson raises prospect of stricter lockdown in letter to 30 million homes

Boris Johnson has raised the prospect of stricter lockdown measures in a letter that will be sent to every household in the UK.

The prime minister, who tested positive for coronavirus this week, says in the letter it is a “moment of national emergency”.

His plea for people to “follow the rules” will land on the doorsteps of 30 million households across all four UK nations from next week.

On the lockdown restrictions, he has this warning for Britons: “We will not hesitate to go further if that is what the scientific and medical advice tells us we must do.”

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People are already under tight restrictions after being told to only leave their homes for essential necessities, to exercise once a day, for a medical need or to help a vulnerable person, or to go to work if it is not possible to work from home.

Mr Johnson is continuing to lead the government while self-isolating in the flat above Number 11 Downing Street.

New figures released on Saturday showed another 259 people have died in the UK after testing positive for COVID-19 – with at least 13 of them having no underlying health problems.

Boris Johnson’s letter to the nation in full

A total of 1,028 people have died in the UK after contracting the virus.

In his letter, Mr Johnson says the right preparations are being made and the more closely people follow the restrictions, “the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal”.

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Residents will also get a leaflet outlining the government’s advice – looking at symptoms, hand washing, rules on leaving the house, self-isolating with symptoms and shielding vulnerable people.

The prime minister writes: “We know things will get worse before they get better.

“But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.”

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PM @BorisJohnson is writing to every UK household to urge them to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. #StayHomeSaveLives

— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) March 28, 2020

Mr Johnson continues: “I want to thank everyone who is working flat out to beat the virus, in particular the staff in our fantastic NHS and care sector across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“It has been truly inspirational to see our doctors, nurses and other carers rise magnificently to the needs of the hour.

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“Thousands of retired doctors and nurses are returning to the NHS – and hundreds of thousands of citizens are volunteering to help the most vulnerable.

“That is why, at this moment of national emergency, I urge you, please, to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

The leaflet also has advice on how to access online guidance specific to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


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