Coronavirus: Johnson Says Stay Home, French and Dutch Tighten Restrictions

  • "From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction— you must stay at home," Johnson said.
  • "We have decided to tighten sanctions for those who to not respect the rules," said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe
  • The Netherlands extended the ban on all social events with the participation of more than 100 people from April 6 to June 1. 

The United Kingdom, following a number of European countries, will restrict freedom of movement for three weeks in order to combat the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The inhabitants of the UK will be able to leave their homes only for the purchase of essential goods, doctor visits, and individual exercise.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British politician, writer, and former journalist serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2019. He was Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018 and Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016.

“From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction— you must stay at home,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. “Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.” Johnson gave these instructions during a televised address to the nation on Monday.

Travel to work is permissible only if it is impossible to work from home. In addition, the head of the British government called for poeple to avoid meeting with friends. Violation of these measures, which will last at least until April 11, could incur a fine, Johnson warned.
“And as we have seen elsewhere, in other countries that also have fantastic health care systems, that is the moment of real danger,” continued Johnson. The country will temporarily close all stores that do not sell essential goods, as well as libraries, temples and sports grounds. In addition, any events involving crowds, with the exception of funerals, are prohibited.

“It’s important to keep the disease from spreading to households,” Johnson explained. According to him, “without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses,” he said. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom called the virus “the largest threat in several decades.”

France Imposes New Restrictions to Fight Covid-19

Édouard Philippe is a French politician serving as Prime Minister of France since 15 May 2017 under President Emmanuel Macron. A lawyer by occupation, Philippe is a former member of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), which later became The Republicans (LR).

Meanwhile, French authorities strengthened quarantine measures, imposed from March 17, for 15 days. In particular, walking with children and playing sports in the fresh air is allowed only once a day, within a radius of one kilometer from home and no more than an hour.

“We have decided to tighten sanctions for those who to not respect the rules,” said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe during a televised address to the nation. “We must not joke with security measures.” Residents of the country are allowed to leave their homes only for shopping, visiting doctors or trips to work. Police are monitoring compliance.

An outbreak of COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus occurred in China at the end of 2019. Since then, the dangerous disease has penetrated more than 190 countries and territories. According to the Worldometer international group of volunteers, the UK has 8,077 cases with 422 deaths.  In France, nearly 20,000 people have been infected with 860 deaths.

The Netherlands extended the ban on all social events with the participation of more than 100 people from April 6 to June 1. This was announced by the Minister of Security and Justice of the Netherlands, Ferdinand Grapperhaus. “If this ban is not respected, the authorities will have to impose a quarantine,” he warned.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects a global recession in 2020, which could be even worse than the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. According to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, the fund is ready to use “all of its credit facilities in the amount of $1 trillion” to support countries in need.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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