UK cops warn they may not be able to police coronavirus lockdown and say Army might need to enforce it #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #Police #Army #pandemic
Credit: GETTY IMAGES – GETTY
COPS have today warned they may not be able to police Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lockdown and have hinted the Army may need to enforce it.
The Prime Minister last night outlined his strict limits on when Brits are able to leave their homes and banned gatherings of more than two people.
He warned the nation they “must stay at home” as he ordered a mass lockdown by closing all non-essential shops and insisting families stay behind closed doors.
However, it didn’t stop Londoners from once again packing the Underground with alarming pictures showing commuters squeezing on to carriages this morning.
Last night, Brits were also ordered not to meet up with friends and to go out to buy food or to exercise just once a day.
As part of the Coronavirus Bill – which passed through the House of Commons on Monday – police were given new emergency powers to help them guarantee public safety and maintain law and order.
Anyone who flouts the new crackdown will face fines of up to £1,000 or even arrest when cops are given emergency powers.
But the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation has suggested officers will struggle to enforce the on-the-spot fines.
Ken Marsh said Mr Johnson’s plans would be “very difficult” to put into practice because he was seeing “large amounts of sickness” among officers across the capital.
He told the BBC: “It will be very, very challenging and very difficult for us with what’s put in front of us.
“But we don’t actually know what is being put in front of us yet other than we’re going to be asked to disperse crowds, it’s going to be a real, real challenge.
“We will be dealing with it, but I’m not sure we will have the resources to be able to see it through.”
Mr Marsh believes the Army could be brought in if police numbers fall due to coronavirus, as the death toll hit 335 with more than 6,000 cases in the UK.
He told Sky News: “The Army are already in place on the outskirts of London and across the country.
“And I don’t doubt again for one minute that they will be called if needed.
“Because if we start losing large numbers in policing terms, through isolation and actually having Covid-19, then they are going to step in and support us in some way.
“It could be tailored in quite quickly and I would save that everything is on the table.”
John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, added: “I would urge politicians to think before they make such bold statements.
“I just cannot rationally think how that would work.”
He also revealed some officers had been “spat at” and “coughed on” by vile Brits during the pandemic.
Mr Apter said: “Vile creatures were spitting and coughing in the direction of my colleagues and using the crisis of COVID-19 as a weapon against police officers.
“I contacted the Home Secretary and said something needs to be done.”
Courtesy of thesun.co.uk
UK on LOCKDOWN: Boris launches unprecedented new coronavirus rules NEVER seen in peacetime #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #LOCKDOWN #pandemic #quarantine #emergency
BORIS JOHNSON has put Britain on lockdown for three weeks after his pleas for the country to stay at home were ignored.
The Prime Minister imposed the most draconian measures the UK has faced in peacetime as the death toll continued to rocket. Mr Johnson told the public the nation is facing a national emergency and they must stay at home to save lives.
Police will enforce the lockdown by breaking up groups and imposing fines of £30 upwards on people who flout the rules.
Speaking in Downing Street, the PM said the only valid reasons for venturing outside were to buy food, carry out essential work or for medical reasons.
One outdoor trip for exercise each day is also allowed but there should be no more than two people together in public, except for members of the same household.
All non-essential shops have been ordered to shut down, weddings cancelled and religious gatherings banned.
Mr Johnson thanked the “huge numbers” of Britons who have complied with the government’s advice so far but said “the time has now come for us all to do more”.
“From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home,” he said.
“Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.
“That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes – shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible, one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household, any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home.
“You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say No.
“You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.
“You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine — and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.
“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”
Mr Johnson said no Prime Minister wanted to impose such measures and insisted he understood the damage it is doing to people’s lives, businesses and jobs.
“And I can assure you that we will keep these restrictions under constant review,” he added. “We will look again in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows we are able to.”
“But at present there are just no easy options. The way ahead is hard, and it is still true that many lives will sadly be lost.
Mr Johnson insisted there was a “clear way through” and he believed the “people of this country will rise to that challenge”.
“We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together.
“And therefore I urge you at this moment of national emergency to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.”
Mr Johnson had issued a final warning to the nation on Sunday after crowds flocked to beaches and parks.
But Britons continued to gather outdoors yesterday (MON) and queue at shops. Tube carriages in London, the coronavirus hotspot, remained packed.
The PM chaired a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee at 5pm to discuss the lockdown after facing intense pressure to take tougher action.
The new measures were imposed as the number of people with the Covid 19 virus who have died in the UK reached 335.
Courtesy of express.co.uk
Coronavirus: UK could be put on lockdown if Britons ignore advice, suggests cabinet minister #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #Lockdown #pandemic #quarantine
The UK could be put on lockdown if Britons continue to ignore advice aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus, a cabinet minister has suggested.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick warned that asking people to stay at home in an attempt to suppress the number of COVID-19 cases was not “a game”, as he refused to rule out tougher action.
The government on Friday closed cafes, pubs, bars, restaurants and gyms for the foreseeable future as the spread of coronavirus continues to accelerate.
Britons are being asked to not go out and to reduce social interaction with others, in order to prevent the NHS becoming overburdened and to save the lives of the elderly and most vulnerable.
But the UK has not yet followed the example of France, which is now requiring citizens to carry official paperwork in order to leave their homes.
Asked whether Britain could follow other European countries in enforcing an official lockdown, Mr Jenrick told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday show: “We don’t want to go down that route.
“We want to live in a free society where we can continue to go about activities while continuing to follow the medical advice.
“But this isn’t a game, this is very serious; People need to follow that advice.
“We have now closed the pubs, the restaurants, the clubs, the indoor gyms and leisure activities, and we want people now to follow that advice and stay at home wherever possible.
“If people don’t follow that advice, we’ll clearly have to consider other options.
“But none of us want to go down that route.”
Mr Jenrick stressed most people could continue to go out for walks, enjoy the countryside and take children to playgrounds, but warned them to “stay a couple of metres away from others”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned the number of UK coronavirus cases is “stark” and “accelerating”.
He told adults the best present they can give their mother for Mother’s Day on Sunday is to stay away.
Some 1.5 million people with specific health conditions who have been identified as being most at risk to coronavirus are being written to by the government to ask them to stay at home.
This group of people are being asked to remain at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for at least 12 weeks.
Mr Jenrick clarified those people can continue to live with those they are currently living with, although the government is asking family members of the most vulnerable to limit the time spent in shared spaces.
“We’re not expecting families to be broken up as a result of this,” the cabinet minister said.
He also vowed the government would be doing “whatever it takes” to support these people, including helping with the supply of food and medicines.
“We want you to know that you might be staying at home for a long period of time but you will not be alone,” he said.
Courtesy of Sky News
Coronavirus: Army to enforce lockdown in Italy’s worst-hit region #COVID19 #coronavirus #Italy #Army #pandemic #quarantine #emergency
The army will be used to impose the lockdown in Lombardy – the region of Italy worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
“The request to use the army has been accepted… and 114 soldiers will be on the ground throughout Lombardy,” regional president Attilio Fontana told a news conference.
“It is still too little, but it is positive.”
Lombardy has also asked the government to further tighten the restrictions already in place, which include the closure of
all non-essential commercial activities and a ban on public gatherings.
Mr Fontana, without giving numbers, added that the virus is still spreading in Lombardy which has so far registered the highest number of cases and deaths in Italy.
“Unfortunately we are not seeing a change of trend in the numbers, which are rising,” he said.
Courtesy of Sky News
Coronavirus: British Army puts 20,000 troops on standby to deal with pandemic crisis #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #Army #Military #pandemic #quarantine
As many as 150 troops are learning to drive oxygen tankers to supply hospitals treating coronavirus patients. They will form part of the new “Covid Support Force”
The Ministry of Defence has put 20,000 troops on standby to deal with the coronavirus crisis, it has been reported this evening.
As many as 150 troops are learning to drive oxygen tankers to supply hospitals, according to The Times.
The troops will form part of the new “Covid Support Force”.
Today the death toll in the UK reached 104 with that figure expected to rise in the coming days and weeks.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The men and women of our Armed Forces stand ready to protect Britain and her citizens from all threats, including Covid-19.
“The unique flexibility and dedication of the services means that we are able to provide assistance across the whole of society in this time of need.
“From me downwards the entirety of the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces are dedicated to getting the nation through this global pandemic.”
Major General Charlie Stickland Assistance Chief of the Defence Staff Operations and Commitments said: “Putting more personnel at a higher state of readiness and having our Reserves on standby gives us greater flexibility to support public services as and when they require our assistance.
“The COVID Support Force, potentially drawing upon our highly skilled scientists at Dstl or oxygen tanker drivers, will form part of a whole force effort to support the country during its time of need.
“Our servicemen and women are committed to maintain our operational output and delivering any support the Government requires.”
The news comes hours after it is said that government officials are braced for coronavirus “lockdown” measures to be ramped up in London within days.
Boris Johnson tonight did not rule out putting London on lockdown – and said “further and faster measures” may be needed.
Whitehall sources today told the Mirror lockdown-style measures in London – which Boris Johnson admitted is “a few weeks ahead” of the rest of the country – are “imminent”.
A senior Downing Street source vehemently denied anything had been decided.
Britain’s government set out emergency legislation on Tuesday to tackle the growing outbreak, with measures including giving powers to police andimmigration officers to detain people and put them in isolation to protect public health.
“The new measures we will be introducing in the Emergency Coronavirus Bill this week will only be used when it is absolutely necessary and must be timed to maximise their effectiveness,” health minister Matt Hancock said in a statement.
The legislation, which also includes measures to allow recently retired National Health Service staff and social workers to return to work, will be brought before parliament tomorrow.
Courtesy of mirror.co.uk