British Prime Minster Boris Johnson has ordered the closure of most retail stores and banned gatherings for three weeks in a stepped-up response to slow the new coronavirus.
The measures Johnson announced in a televised address to the nation last night are more closely aligned with sweeping actions taken in France, Spain and Italy but mark a departure from the British government’s previously more relaxed approach to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.
Britain has already closed schools, bars and restaurants and urged people to stay at home. But while many followed the instructions, some did not.
The approach has led to confusion and caused alarm to public officials worried about the ever-escalating numbers of cases.
There were growing calls for the government to impose tighter restrictions with more rigorous enforcement.