Day One of Lockdown: Nation’s streets and open spaces are deserted as Britons awake to a new dawn without pubs, restaurants, leisure centres, cinemas and gyms due to coronavirus
- Yesterday the PM ordered social premises such as gyms and cinemas to close
- Today pictures emerged of empty towns as people chose to follow the PM’s rules
- The virus death toll rose by 40 on Friday to 177, with almost 4,000 now infected
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
The nation’s streets and open spaces have been left deserted today as Britons woke to a new dawn without pubs, restaurants and other services due to coronavirus.
Stark pictures have emerged of empty town centres and roads as people abide by new government rules.
Yesterday the Prime Minister told his daily press conference that social premises also including theatres, cinemas, gyms and sports centres must close ‘as soon as they reasonably can and not reopen tomorrow’.
A sombre-looking Boris Johnson said that measures outlined on Monday for people to voluntarily self-isolate now had to go further as he ordered certain businesses to close their doors for an initial 14 days, after which it will be reviewed.
An empty street in Windsor this morning as people stay away from high streets and open spaces due to coronavirus
A TK Maxx store in Cardiff is left empty after the company shut its UK stores yesterday due to coronavirus
Nottingham Old Market Square was completely empty this morning as people stayed away from town centres
The town centre of Windsor was deserted this morning as the Castle shut its gates for the foreseeable future and TK Maxx stores across the country closed.
Nottingham city centre and communities around London were also empty on what would normally be a busy and bustling day for Saturday shoppers.
The coronavirus death toll rose by 40 on Friday to 177, with almost 4,000 infected, although the real figure is believed to be greater than 10,000.
It has also been revealed that Britain could remain on lockdown for an entire year, according to the scientists who told Boris Johnson to impose social distancing rules.
The social restrictions however do not apply to supermarkets and early this morning shoppers were seen queuing outside food shops to get their hands on supplies.
The centre of Nottingham this morning was completely empty on what would normally be a bust shopping day
A quiet street in Hockley, Nottingham. These streets would usually be packed full of Saturday morning shoppers
Stark pictures have emerged of empty town centres and roads as people abide by new government rules. Pictured: an empty street in Windsor
A quiet M62 motorway near Liverpool this morning after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and gyms across the country to close
The extraordinary closure of leisure and hospitality venues, which does not include shops, came into effect at closing time last night. Pictured: a restaurant in north London shuts up
Nottingham city centre was deserted today as people stayed at home due to the coronavirus outbreak
Meanwhile Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the government will cover 80 per cent of salaries of up to £2,500 each month, with workers staying on the books, and there will be no limit on the total cost.
The scheme will be up and running by April 1 and be backdated to the start of the chaos.
Experts forecast that Mr Sunak’s intervention could save 800,000 jobs in Britain’s workforce for when the country eventually emerges through the health emergency.
A closed Wetherspoon in Nottingham after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and gyms across the country to close
A quiet street in north London today as restaurants and cafes shut their doors for the foreseeable future
A sign in the window of a TK Maxx store after the company closed all of its UK stores yesterday
The extraordinary closure of leisure and hospitality venues, which does not include shops, came into effect at closing time last night. Restaurants, bars and cafes will be allowed to remain open as takeaways.
The restrictions will be reviewed on a monthly basis. Mr Johnson warned those going out could become ‘vectors of the disease for older relatives with potentially fatal consequences’.
Yesterday, Mr Johnson told the daily live broadcast from Downing Street: ‘You may be tempted to go out tonight and I say to you please don’t, you may think that you are invincible – but there is no guarantee that you will get it.
‘But you can still be a carrier of the disease and pass it on.’
He added: ‘I do accept that what we’re doing is extraordinary – we’re taking away the ancient inalienable right of freeborn people of the United Kingdom to go to the pub.’
And still they come! Hundreds of shoppers queue all around Tesco car park before 6am waiting for it to open as police step in and supermarkets hire security guards to stop selfish stockpilers amid coronavirus panic
Hundreds of shoppers were spotted queueing around the entire carpark of a Tesco at 6am today.
Shocking drone footage revealed the true extent of panic buying amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The same Tesco in New Malden, London, saw a similarly gigantic queue snake around its carpark at 5.50am yesterday.
Some supermarkets have introduced dedicated hours where NHS workers and the elderly are allowed to shop without other members of the public getting involved.
However, younger shoppers were spotted selfishly pushing past elderly people to continue with the panic-buying which has taken over across the nation.
People queuing up outside Tescos in Aldershot, a day after the Chancellor unveiled an emergency package aimed at protecting workers’ jobs and wages as they face hardship in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic
People queuing up outside Sainsburys in Guildford just two days after the Prime Minister encouraged people to stop panic buying
Police were yesterday forced to step in to stop selfish stockpilers from barging past pensioners and ransacking supermarket shelves.
Some supermarkets have hired security guards to try and level the playing field for those who are more vulnerable and haven’t had a chance to buy essentials during the coronavirus pandemic.
A sign for customers on entering Tescos in Aldershot telling them there is a limit of three items of any same product and a limit of one toilet roll per customer
People queuing up outside Sainsburys in Guildford despite multiple warnings from the government about the harms of panic buying
A Marks & Spencer shop in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, was among the first shops to call in police to help ensure older shoppers could use the hour set aside for them.
Asda and Aldi have hired a sports security firm, Showsec, to protect against selfish panic buyers.
And some other 118 major stores across the UK have also requested to protection from customers who openly flout governmental advice to stop panic buying.
The staff, who are usually escorting boxers to the ring, have been employed to work from 5am to midday.
One Shosec worker told The Sun: ‘They cannot handle the trouble. They’re calling us in to try and get some order back but it’s going to be a mammoth task.’
Supermarkets are desperately trying to keep up with the demand in order to prevent the elderly and NHS staff and emergency workers from having to go without as a result of other selfish shoppers.
Tesco is even hiring 20,000 shelf stackers on 12-week contracts, while Aldi is aiming for 9,000 and Asda for 5,000.
Most supermarkets have started limiting purchases and are trying to get shoppers down to just two or three items of food, toiletries and cleaning products.
Tesco is even hiring 20,000 shelf stackers on 12-week contracts. Pictured are shoppers queuing outside Tesco at 5.40am in New Malden
Waitrose has started a £1million community support fund to make sure essential items are delivered to care homes.
And others have taken measures to allow NHS staff priority access after a heartbreaking video of a crying care nurse was released yesterday.
Dawn Bilbrough, 51, from York, had just completed a 48-hour shift before visiting her supermarket to pick up basic food items for the next two days when she was left having a ‘little cry’.
After discovering there were no fruit and vegetables for her to sustain a healthy living amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the healthcare worker made a tearful plea to the public urging them to ‘just stop it’.
The nurse took to Facebook from the seat of her car to tell the nation: ‘So I’ve just come out the supermarket. There’s no fruit and veg and I had a little cry in there.’
‘I’m a critical care nurse and I’ve just finished 48 hours of work and I just wanted to get some stuff in for the next 48 hours.
‘There’s no fruit, there’s no vegetables and I just don’t know how I’m supposed to stay healthy.
A Tesco Express in Emmer Green in Reading has put up a sign which reads: ‘Please treat our in-store colleagues with respect. We’ll report any verbal or physical abuse of our colleagues. Thank you’
A huge queue of people is seen queueing outside an Asda in Middlesex while people continue to panic buy amid the coronavirus pandemic
More indignant shoppers continue to queue up outside an Asda in Middlesex despite warnings from the government that such behaviour will leave vulnerable customers unable to buy essentials
A huge queue of people is seen snaking round the carpark of an Asda in Middlesex while people continue to panic buy amid the coronavirus pandemic
‘Those people who are just stripping the shelves have basic foods you just need to stop it because it’s people like me that are going to be looking after you when you are at your lowest and just stop it please!’
Chancellor Rishi Sunak ‘saves 800,000 jobs with employer bailout’
Rishi Sunak’s unprecedented bailout promise to underwrite employees’ wages was last night hailed as saving 800,000 jobs during the coronavirus epidemic.
The Chancellor told last night’s Downing Street press briefing a new grant would cover 80 per cent of workers’ salaries – up to a maximum of £2,500 a month each – if firms kept them on.
Analysts who were forecasting 1.5million increase job losses because of the health crisis cut their prediction to 700,000 unemployed just minutes after the announcement.
But his lifeline to employees – wrapped into the government’s third emergency economic package in just over a week – is set to plunge the UK into further billions of pounds of debt.
Flanking Boris Johnson in Number 10, Mr Sunak yesterday hammered home the seriousness of the economic fallout and unveiled his ‘unprecedented measures for unprecedented times’.
There was no limit on the size of Mr Sunak’s plan which the government will fund by selling more debt, as it will for other measures worth tens of billions of pounds rushed out over the past 10 days.
NHS workers can visit large Tesco stores an hour before the usual opening time every Sunday from tomorrow.
And Marks & Spencer is now dedicating the first hour on Tuesdays and Fridays to emergency workers and the first hour on Mondays and Thursdays will be dedicated to elderly and vulnerable customers.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) wrote to store chiefs suggesting the urgent measures.
Chief nursing officer for England, Ruth May, said: ‘We’re asking all supermarkets to allow all of our healthcare workers easy access to buy their food and vegetables.’
The RCN urged supermarkets to provide priority access to people working in health and care — and to hold back certain items such as toilet paper for all nursing staff.
The HCSA, the hospital doctors’ union, has asked supermarkets to allow medical staff to place orders that they can collect later when they are off shift.
Susan Maple, aged 77, wiped back tears as she waited outside an Iceland store in Harborne, Birmingham.
She was trying to buy supplies for her 90-year-old neighbour who ‘can’t get out’.
Fellow shopper John Merrill, 76, said: ‘I’ve got some things here which I couldn’t get earlier like margarine and toilet rolls. People don’t need to stockpile, it’s just stupid.’
Social media users have been heaping scorn on shoppers who are taking more than their fair share of precious groceries using the hashtag #stophoarding – calling on their countrymen to be considerate and take only what they need.
Police now have power to shut down ANY pub still open in Britain after drinkers enjoyed one last night out and panic-bought alcohol following Boris Johnson’s closure of all bars, cafes, restaurants and gyms due to coronavirus
Police from today will be able to close any pubs or bars that refuse to comply with the government’s shutdown of social venues in the latest string of measures aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus.
Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, officers have been granted the power to revoke operating licences for several different types of venues if they are deemed to be playing a role in disorder.
It comes after drinkers across the country enjoyed a final pint and panic-bought alcohol from supermarkets following Boris Johnson’s order for all pubs, clubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and sports centres to close ‘as soon as they reasonably can and not to reopen tomorrow’.
Last night out: A group of friends pose for a picture and shout ‘Coronavirus!’ instead of ‘Cheese’ on Broad Street in Birmingham after Boris Johnson ordered pubs and nightclubs to close due to COVID-19 crisis
Make mine a double! Patrons were seen dancing at the Lord Stamford public house in Stalybridge on Friday night after the Prime Minister announced the unprecedented move to close all pubs to stop the spread of the coronavirus
Police forces were mobilised to enforce the shutdown, with Chief constables engaging civil contingencies designed to respond to events such as rioting and terrorism, allowing longer shifts and making more officers available.
Ken Marsh, head of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: ‘It’s very simple. Under licensing laws we can revoke their licences, and then they are breaking the law.’
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt this morning welcomed the government’s shutdown of pubs and restaurants, although he suggested the measures should have been enforced sooner.
Revellers last night appeared to flout the government advice on ‘social distancing’ as they enjoyed themselves outside O’Neills pub in Clapham, London, ahead of the pub ban coming into force tomorrow
A bar manager at the White Hart Pub in Ironbridge, Shropshire closes the bar at the final bell on Friday night after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that all pubs were to remain closed from tomorrow in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus
But thousands of Friday night revellers ignored the government’s advice on social distancing as they danced the night away despite the coronavirus death toll rising by 40 on Friday to 177, with almost 4,000 infected, although the real figure is believed to be greater than 10,000.
A sombre-looking PM said that measures outlined on Monday for people to voluntarily self-isolate now had to go further as he ordered premises to close their doors for an initial 14 days, after which it will be reviewed.
‘We’re taking away the ancient, inalienable right of free-born people of the United Kingdom to go to the pub, and I can understand how people feel about that,’ Mr Johnson said.
The Prime Minister’s words were beamed out to revellers throughout Britain who had headed to the pub after a week at work, while others rushed to the supermarket to stock up on booze.
London and its nine-million population is ahead of the curve on coronavirus infections, according to scientists, but social media has been awash with pictures showing bars bursting at the seams with people seemingly indifferent to the risk in the capital.
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