What does total lockdown mean and what’s the procedure in the UK? – The Sun

COUNTRIES across Europe are going into lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

With cases in the UK rising every day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hinted that a lockdown could be necessary to curb the spread of the virus after shutting down pubs, gyms and restaurants last week.

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What does going into total lockdown actually mean?

“Lockdown” actually isn't a technical term used by public health officials, it is often referred to as “mass quarantines', where residents are forced or advised to stay at home.

This involves restricting the movement of residents and only allowing people to leave home to attend essential work, purchase food or medicine or go to a hospital.

Later today, Boris Johnson will provide his daily coronavirus press briefing where he is expected to answer questions about a potential lockdown.

France, Italy and Spain are all currently in lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.

In France, people are only allowed to leave their homes to go to the supermarket, the pharmacy or to work if absolutely necessary.

Only one person per household is permitted to leave their house at any given time.

The same rules apply in Italy, which has the most deaths due to coronavirus of any country in the world.

In order to leave the house in France and Italy, you must have paperwork which confirms your identity, address and reason for being outside.

Fees apply to those who break these rules or cannot produce relevant paperwork.

French citizens can be charged €135 for leaving the house without documents, while in Spain those who disobey the lockdown could face a year in prison or a whopping fine of up to €600,000.

Can you work if the UK is on lockdown?

The vast majority of employees in the UK are already working from home in accordance with government advice.

However, there will be exceptions to the lockdown for certain critical workers who can leave their home to travel to work.

In France, you need a signed document from your employer in order to leave your house to go to work.

The British government recently published its 'key workers' list, whose children will continue to be cared for at nursery and school.

This includes NHS staff, prison officers, police and transport workers.

In the event of a lockdown, only these essential workers would be allowed to commute to work.

What does total lockdown mean for schools?

Schools have been closed in the UK since Friday to stop the spread of the virus.

England's education secretary Gavin Williamson will be meeting headteachers to discuss the next step for schools.

However, schools currently remain open for the children of "key workers" such as NHS staff or police.

Can I leave my house if the UK is on lockdown?

In a lockdown scenario, the UK is likely to follow similar procedures to other countries in Europe such as France or Italy.

This means that, if you are not a "key worker", you will only be allowed to leave your house to buy food or medical supplies, commute to work or go to hospitals and banks.

In Italy, the military has been helping to enforce the lockdown by carrying out checks.

How long have Italy, France and Spain been on lockdown?

Italy was the first country in Europe to enter a lockdown, which was imposed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on March 9.

The country remains in lockdown after suffering 5,476 deaths from the virus, with nearly 60,000 cases.

French President Emmanuel Macron imposed lockdown in France starting on March 17, as the country's deaths currently stand at 674.

Spain has also been in lockdown since declaring a state of emergency on March 14.

The country has nearly 30,000 cases and 1,813 deaths from the coronavirus as of March 23.

The full list of all countries on lockdown are as follows;

    • Italy
    • Denmark
    • Ireland
    • Spain
    • Germany
    • Portugal
    • Czech Republic
    • France
    • Belgium
    • Norway
    • China
    • Slovenia
    • Indonesia
    • El Salvador
    • New Zealand
    • Poland

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