Government may restrict ‘large scale gatherings’ if coronavirus worsens

10 Downing Street - the official London office of the British Prime Minister

PM Boris Johnson has set out his plans to tackle the coronavirus in a press conference earlier today (3 March).

In his plan, he says: “Action that would be considered could include population distancing strategies (such as school closures, encouraging greater home working, reducing the number of large scale gatherings) to slow the spread of the disease throughout the population, whilst ensuring the country’s ability to continue to run as normally as possible.”

The PM has no plans to impose restrictions at this stage but stressed: “If the disease becomes established in the UK, we will need to consider further measures to reduce the rate and extent of its spread. Based on experience with previous outbreaks, it may be that widespread exposure in the UK is inevitable; but slowing it down would still nonetheless be beneficial.”

The PM believes that up to a fifth of the UK workforce could be off sick at the peak of the epidemic and that the police may need to focus on maintaining public order. In addition, non-urgent medical care will be delayed, to make way for beds required. The PM also confirmed that retired doctors may be called upon to support the NHS. The UK government also advises that people travelling to infected destinations should self-isolate as a matter of precaution.

See the plan here

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