Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just announced on UK television that the nation is now officially in lock down to combat the spread of COVID-19. Johnson in the same announcement said that police would be used to enforce the lock down measures.
All shops other than essential providers of food and medicines are being closed, and restrictions on travel would be enforced. All social events including weddings, baptisms and religious gatherings are immediately cancelled and underlined by no more that two people being allowed to meet outside their homes, if not family members.
The precise details of who and what is exempt will undoubtedly unfold in the hours ahead, as his address will be analysed and interpreted.
He didn’t mention closing borders and international transport hubs, but we suspect that measure isn’t far away.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office earlier this evening issued a stark warning to all UK citizens currently travelling abroad to return home immediately. Adding that closures of air routes in the next 48 hours could be enforced.
For the hospitality industry this adds further woes and assurance that the state of limbo for businesses already impacted by COVID-19 will not be alleviated soon.