'There it is, clear as a bell': Reaction to Boris Johnson placing UK in lockdown

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has placed the UK under lockdown, with fines handed out to anyone who leaves their home for anything other than to go to work, buy food and medicine, or exercise.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 9:33 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 9:55 pm

In an address to the nation on Monday evening, Mr Johnson said that a

It came as the UK death toll hit 335 and the first cases emerged of medical staff being struck down with the illness.ll shops selling non-essential goods will be closed, and gatherings of more than two people from different households will be banned.

For more information on all the new restrictions issued by the Prime Minister this evening, see our full story HERE

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Boris Johnson has placed the UK on lockdown

Reaction to lockdown

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: "The Prime Minister is right to call for people to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.”

Mr Corbyn added: "This is the right response to the coronavirus pandemic, and one we have been calling for.

"There now needs to be clear guidance to employers and workers about which workplaces should close - and the Government must close the loopholes to give security to all workers, including the self-employed, as well as renters and mortgage holders.

"We welcome these moves and will be working to ensure everybody has the protection and security they need."

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell tweeted: "I appealed personally to Boris Johnson to act to enforce social distancing earlier today & so I welcome his announcement tonight.

"Let's now all work together on the detail of how this will be implemented effectively, which workplaces remain open & financial support for all affected."

Health minister Nadine Dorries, who was the first MP to be diagnosed with the coronavirus, tweeted: "Please do as the PM asks. This is about saving peoples lives. There is nothing more important. The PM mentioned the police. We really don't want to go there. Please, please, #StayAtHomeSaveLives."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said in a video posted to Twitter: "I want to speak directly to Londoners: these rules are not optional."These instructions have been put in place to stop the spread of the virus and must be followed at all times to save lives."He added: "These unprecedented circumstances call for extraordinary measures. Unless we follow these rules, people will die."

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage tweeted: "So we are to be locked down - and a new testing regime will begin."Will the planes keep coming from Milan, Tehran and Beijing?"I expect so. It's all too late."

Piers Morgan took to his Twitter account to say: “It's down to us now. We ALL owe it to each other to abide by these new lockdown rules. If we don't, more people will die. It's as simple as that.

“This is an incredibly serious moment for the country. Time to step up & honour the spirit & heart of the WW2 generation.”

Former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson wrote: “For the first time in human evolution our species is united against a common enemy. This is the time for all of us to support @BorisJohnson's measures to deal with a national emergency.”

Ruth Davidson said: “My sister is the most kick-ass woman I know. She's an NHS consultant. More than half her cardiology ward is already COVID positive. She told me today she's terrified of what's coming and how bad it will be because idiots were refusing to stay home. Do it now. No ifs or buts.”

Readers react

Readers were also quick to get their opinions and views across on the matter.

Jochan Macleod wrote: “There it is, clear as a bell. I hope everybody will do their very best for the good of all.”

Frederick Robertson said: “Should have happened at least a week before now, however better late than never, if public still refuse to comply next step troops on the street to enforce the law.”

Laura Sinclair says: “Boris made the mistake of assuming everyone in the UK was responsible and fairly intelligent and would be able to understand and follow simple guidelines. Sadly not the case.”

Margaret Killiard Ryan said: “The sooner the better. Let's get it done is his slogan. Ironic really.”