The Prime Minister last night urged the nation to stay at home and said people should only leave for food, medicine, exercise or work if ‘absolutely necessary’.
He also announced a ban on all social gatherings of more than two people in a desperate attempt to stop the spread of the deadly disease.
The practical ramifications of the measures are now starting to sink in with Number 10 today telling people who are dating that they should not visit their partner’s house.
Deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries suggested couples needed to either decide to live together or to remain apart during the crisis as she said that ‘what we do not want is people switching in and out of households’.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock was more blunt as he told couples: ‘Make a choice and stick with it.’
Meanwhile, the government has confirmed police will be able to impose fines of £30 on anyone who does not comply with the ban on groups.
And minsters are warning they will increase those fines ‘significantly’ if people ignore what they have been told.
The government also today said that only small numbers of people can attend funerals, clarifying official advice issued last night which said ‘immediate family’ could attend.’
Read more: Couples are BANNED from staying at each other’s houses, ‘immediate family’ only at funerals and £30 fines and threat of court for anyone found in a group in public – the reality of Boris Johnson’s lockdown rules