Why Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown with tougher restrictions

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put the UK in lockdown as he announced tough restrictions on everyday life in a televised address to the nation.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 9:33 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 10:28 pm

But why has it come to this?

In his address, Mr Johnson said without a huge national effort to halt the spread of coronavirus, “there will come a moment where no health service in the world could possibly cope.”

The Prime Minister said there would not be enough ventilators, intensive care beds, doctors and nurses.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

He said: “To put it simply if too many people become unwell at one time the NHS will be unable to handle it, meaning more people are likely to die – not just from coronavirus, but from other illnesses as well.

“It’s vital to slow the spread of the disease. That is the way we reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment at any one time.”

Mr Johnson admitted “no Prime Minister wants to enact measures like this”.

Another key reason for tightening the restrictions was the many examples of people not following the Government’s previous advice to practice social distancing.

At the weekend, parks and open spaces were packed with people. Pictures on Monday also showed some London underground trains to be full.

In Sheffield, groups were pictured gathered together at a popular park. Several roads in the city and across South Yorkshire were also busy as motorists queued for one last McDonald's before stores closed.