Coronavirus crisis: 1.4million Brits told to stay at home for 12 weeks

Shielding the most vulnerable

More than a million people in Britain are being told to cocoon themselves inside their homes in the fight against the coronavirus crisis.

Addressing the media at Downing Street yesterday (Monday, March 16) afternoon, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined strict new guidelines from the Government calling for everyone to cease all non-essential travel and curb contact with each other amid the outbreak.

The PM urged all Brits, around 66.4million, to stay away from pubs, nightclubs, theatres and cinemas for the forseeable future, while those able to work from home should do so.

Boris Johnson
Boris delivered the first of Downing Street’s planned daily updates on the outbreak (Credit: BBC News)

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Boris also called for the 20million people in the UK considered to be the most vulnerable, such as pregnant women, those with underlying health conditions and the over-70s, to try to stay in their homes and completely avoid crowded areas.

People living with illnesses like cancer, of whom there are an estimated 1.4million in Britain, have to completely quarantine themselves in their homes and have food and other essential supplies delivered for around 12 weeks, effectively shielding them from social contact – and potential exposure to coronavirus.

Elderly person, old person's hand
The Government is telling people not to visit their vulnerable relatives, including the elderly (Credit: Pixabay)

Under the new social-distancing guidelines, people are urged not to visit the most vulnerable as doing so will heighten their risk of getting Covid-19.

The measures will mean that certain holidays will be cancelled for many, including Mother’s Day this Sunday (March 22).

Stay home, people, and be pragmatic.

As of Tuesday (March 17) morning, 55 people in the UK had died from Covid-19, while the number of confirmed cases stood above 1,500.

Elsewhere, a number of celebrities are currently self-isolating, including Good Morning Britain‘s Susanna Reid, who said someone in her house has come down with coronavirus-like symptoms, and actor Idris Elba, who confirmed he has contracted Covid-19.

Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain
GMB’s Susanna Reid is among those self-isolating (Credit: ITV)

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The Luther star took to social media on Monday to reveal he had been diagnosed with the virus and had been isolating since he found out he had “possible exposure” to Covid-19.

Announcing the news to his fans on Twitter, he said: “This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing… No panic [sic].”

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