Prime Minister Boris Johnson has officially ordered all UK residents to stay indoors and stay safe in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19.
This was in an address to the nation last night and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last night confirmed that the country is in a lockdown.
But what does a lockdown look like for the north-east?
No non-essential shops will be open, nor will residents be allowed to leave their homes under certain circumstances.
So what should we do?
When can I leave home?
- You may only shop for basic necessities such as food and medicine. Going for your messages should be as infrequent as possible – and if you can get food delivered via a supermarket service, you should.
- You may exercise outdoors once a day, for example going for a walk, run or cycle. This should only be done alone or with someone you live with.
- You can leave home for medical reasons, to provide care or to support a vulnerable person. Something that also falls under this category is childcare. If separated parents share custody of a child, the child may go between the parents’ homes if they are under the age of 18.
- You may also travel to and from work, but only when work absolutely cannot be done from home.
What is now shut?
- Libraries, playgrounds, gyms, outdoor gyms and places of worship
- Cafes, pubs and restaurants may only offer takeaway or delivery services – but a number of chains in Aberdeen have already closed their doors including Nando’s, Greggs, McDonald’s, KFC, Costa Coffee, Subway and Pizza Express.
- Nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, and leisure centres
- Non-essential shops including clothing and electronic stores, bookshops and hairdressers
- Parks will remain open for exercise but people are not allowed to gather in groups of more than two. If you do gather, police will have the power to ask you to disperse and potentially fine you
- Community centres will be shut, however if the centre runs a food bank or services for homeless people, they may still operate those services.
- Hotels, hostels, campsites and caravan parks must also close. The only exception to this would be if key workers need to stay there or if people staying there cannot return to their home
Any shops that remain open in spite of the new rules will be subject to prosecution by Trading Standards officers.
In Aberdeen, premises such as the Bon Accord centre, Union Square, Ikea, Debenhams, and Pret a Manger have all closed.
Other stores such as Sports Direct have now closed despite owner Mike Ashley trying to argue that the store was essential for the UK to stay fit and healthy.
What will remain open:
- Supermarkets, post offices, corner shops and newsagents
- Restaurants and cafes in workplaces can remain open. However, only for food delivery and takeaway purposes.
- Pet shops
- Laundrettes and dry cleaners
- Home and hardware shops
- Bicycle shops
- Petrol stations, garages and car rental businesses
- Off-licence premises
Services such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat will remain available alongside shops in hospitals providing for NHS workers.
B&Q stores are closed for today however they have since been declared essential by the government and they will reopen in the coming days.
Off-licences have also been added to the Government’s list of businesses essential to keep the country running during the coronavirus crisis with pubs and bars now closed.
Licensed shops selling alcohol, including those in breweries, also made the updated list of stores exempted from mass closures in the retail sector.
The lockdown has been introduced to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The science shows that each person with the illness infects 2.5 people. However, over a period of 30 days, each person who has received the illness from then passes it on to another 2.5 people creating a swell of cases that will see more than 400 people infected from that one person.
The government hope these new measures will stop the NHS being overwhelmed with cases and prevent avoidable deaths.