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POLL: Coronavirus
26 March 2020 @ 15:43

Coronavirus has forced European governments into lockdown as they attempt to curb the spread of the deadly disease. Italy, France and Spain have all announced very tough measures to limit the movement of people.

Boris Johnson has stepped up the country’s lockdown measures but many in Europe fear that his actions have come too late. Paris has even warned that is it prepared to ban Britons from France after showing disapproval with the Prime Minister’s tactics. Italy’s Giuseppe Conte has urged governments to follow his lead and implement a complete shut down of their country before it is too late.

Under the new restrictions imposed by the Johnson administration, people can leave their homes only for very limited reasons such as going to supermarkets for vital supplies or for exercise once a day. The unprecedented peacetime restrictions, which will last at least three weeks, are intended to stop the state-run National Health Service (NHS) being overwhelmed.

But social media images showed London Underground railway trains were packed with commuters. There were also complaints that the advice was confusing or did not go far enough. Julia Harris, a London nurse, said her morning train to work was full. “I worry for my health more on my commute than actually being in the hospital," she said.

Many building sites remained open, with construction workers among those crowding onto early-morning subways.

Electrician Dan Dobson said construction workers felt “angry and unprotected”, but felt they had to keep working.

"None of them wants to go to work, everyone is worried about taking it home to their families,” he said. "But they still have bills to pay, they still have rent to pay, they still have to buy food.”

British Treasury chief Rishi Sunak defended keeping construction sites open, insisting it could be done safely. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “I cannot say this more strongly: we must stop all non-essential use of public transport now. Employers: please support your staff to work from home unless it's absolutely necessary. Ignoring these rules means more lives lost.” 

Many families were also confused by the new rules. After Johnson said people should not mingle outside of their household units, separated parents asked whether their children could still travel between their homes. In a series of television and radio interviews, Cabinet minister Michael Gove initially said children should not move between households, before clarifying that it was permitted.

Earlier advice for Britons to avoid gatherings was widely ignored, with people flocking to parks and beauty spots. Police will now break up gatherings of more than two people, and social events such as weddings - but not funerals - will be stopped.

Gove said stronger measures than 30-pound fines for people who flouted the new restrictions could be introduced. A snap YouGov poll found that 93 per cent of Britons supported the measures, but were split on whether fines would be a sufficient deterrent. The survey found 66 per cent thought the rules would be very easy or fairly easy to follow.

Supermarkets said they had begun limiting the number of shoppers in stores at any one time and installing screens at checkouts to protect staff.

Sports Direct, initially indicated it would defy the order to close but later said it had asked the government for permission to open stores. Gove said Sports Direct was not an essential shop and should close.


There was also ambiguity regarding what powers police had to enforce the new guidance. The government said police would have powers to break up illegal gatherings and fine people who flout the rules. But some expressed doubts about whether the lockdown could be enforced.

Britain has lost thousands of police officers during a decade of public spending and while Johnson has promised to recruit 20,000 more police officers, those efforts are still in the early stages. Unlike some other European countries, Britons do not carry ID cards, another factor complicating enforcement efforts.

Johnson has also warned that the National Health Service could be overwhelmed within weeks unless people took the lockdown seriously.

Britain's economy was now shrinking at a record pace, faster than during the 2008-09 financial crisis as businesses across the services sector are shut, according to a survey.

What do you think?



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16 Comments


DJF42 said:
26 March 2020 @ 16:49

The stock markets should have been closed and actions to prevent the movement of the population taken sooner. Large profits were made by the unscrupulous short selling shares when they knew the markets would fall as the industries were closed. I'm afraid it all boils down to the same old problem as to why they didn't act immediately, MONEY!!


David B said:
27 March 2020 @ 09:38

DJF42 is spot on with those comments.
BoJo and the UK government have no idea and it now shows how the Tories have not given the NHS service enough money for years and years. I hope the UK public will at last see that they are just in politics to make themselves richer......


Wsj said:
28 March 2020 @ 09:18

I would like to know if when parliament closes if all MPs will get £94 per week to live on ? The same as the others who are laid off in the uk?


roberto123 said:
28 March 2020 @ 10:16

Why did Tony Blair and the labour government not make arrangements to have stockpiles of medical supplies like protective clothing in storage for any type of national emergency???


Andrew Easom said:
28 March 2020 @ 10:38

Too little to late. Political decisions perverted by Dark Pools of Capital making the super rich richer in the knowledge many will be sacrificed.


Merlotmilli said:
28 March 2020 @ 10:42

Why did Tony Blair and the labour government not make arrangements to have stockpiles of medical supplies like protective clothing in storage for any type of national emergency???

Where would these items be stored? Some will have use by dates, some will be ineffective after this or less effective, some will be unuseable as tey will have decyed ( elstic on face masks doesnt last forever), then theres the problem of spare parts to repair older items



Nikki Munday said:
28 March 2020 @ 10:51

BJ should have taken measures to lockdown the UK at the first sign of this virus entering the country. The whole world saw what happened in China and all immediately took action to protect their citizens. But not Boris. Oh No. He has dithered for weeks before doing anything and that´s only been a request not a specific order. Just not good enough. Spain imposed a lockdown at midnight on the SAME day it hit the country but Boris just bumbled through as always and did nothing. Now the entire nation is at risk. Hope he´s proud of himself. How on earth he managed to get the PM job is totally beyond me. He is inept and incompetent.


Nikki Munday said:
28 March 2020 @ 10:51

BJ should have taken measures to lockdown the UK at the first sign of this virus entering the country. The whole world saw what happened in China and all immediately took action to protect their citizens. But not Boris. Oh No. He has dithered for weeks before doing anything and that´s only been a request not a specific order. Just not good enough. Spain imposed a lockdown at midnight on the SAME day it hit the country but Boris just bumbled through as always and did nothing. Now the entire nation is at risk. Hope he´s proud of himself. How on earth he managed to get the PM job is totally beyond me. He is inept and incompetent.


Richie said:
28 March 2020 @ 11:32

These are uncerting times for all but I believe the boat was missed by not totaly isolating China so preventing any movement out of that country they should have also been upfront with the WHO from the start and not be so secretive and trying to conseal the out break, at least it would have been one country with the support of the rest of the world to fight the Coronavirus,


GlenysT said:
28 March 2020 @ 11:39

It is easy to make comment after the event. You all seem to think you know better. You have the ridiculous Jeremy Corbyn saying he was right that there was money to spend, look at how the Government is spending now. We are facing the most horrendous health crisis in our lifetime and all Corbyn can say is 'I told you so'. Thank goodness he is not leading the country (not that there would ever have been the possibility). Instead of moaning and criticising Governments who are trying to fight this dreadful disease, why not support them when they are fighting death and disease on an unimaginable scale and trying to provide equipment and health professionals out of thin air. Stop whinging and make sure you are following the guidelines to keep yourselves and others protected.


DB said:
28 March 2020 @ 12:11

We all know that the NHS has been under funded for ten years, but somehow now we have a crisis the money is found. I have to ask why is this allowed to happen. It's exactly the same with the Police and Education. It's always too little too late. !!!!!


GlenysT said:
28 March 2020 @ 12:18

I feel that people are angry and critical. Why not read the article written by Karethe, you may find serenity instead of anger. Anger takes too much energy.


Charlietwice said:
28 March 2020 @ 14:14

Sadly, this is what you get when you elect what is basically an after dinner speaker with a privileged education as PM. The NHS has been under funded for ten years and the hypocrisy of a government praising the NHS when only 3 years ago they cheered in parliament when they defeated a motion to pay NHS staff more. The PM has acted too slowly, too late and only time will tell if any of the countries involves have been effective. Interestingly, most of the questions put in the various Q & A forums currently doing the rounds, are a ski g how to get round the restrictions in place. The restrictions are minimum and too many people are using them as a challenge.


Alicia Mulcahy said:
28 March 2020 @ 15:02

I thought this page was eyesonspain not in ?????


Alicia Mulcahy said:
28 March 2020 @ 15:03

Uk


Colin said:
30 March 2020 @ 11:56

What a lot of short sighted people on here. The NHS has been under funded since 1945. It is a black hole that will suck in all the cash poured in to it. Every government left or right has tried to control the NHS but with out success.


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