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‘You must stay at home’: UK goes into strict lockdown to curb coronavirus spread

The United Kingdom has joined Spain, Italy and France in going into nationwide lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Under new lockdown rules, Britons will only be allowed to leave their homes to go to the supermarket, pharmacy, and for exercise once per day.

Announcing the new rules, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent a clear message.

“You must stay at home,” he said.

The lockdown will remain in force for at least three weeks.

Brits are also banned from gathering in groups of more than two outdoors.

SBS chief Europe correspondent and friend of 3AW Breakfast, Ben Lewis, said penalties apply for those caught flouting the new rules.

“There can be no gatherings of more than two people in public. If three people stand together and have a chat in the park you are likely to get fined,” he told Ross and John.

Those who must work, including health workers, pharmacists, delivery drivers and couriers, power plant workers, supermarket workers, public transport operators, and even journalists, will be allowed to travel to and from work.

Residents are also being warned against going to their country houses.

“Now that this lockdown has been announced, essentially people are being told to stay in their primary residence, wherever that is,” Mr Lewis said.

Across the UK, 6,650 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed and 335 people have died from the virus.

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Image: PA Video – PA Images / Getty