In the first of what will now be daily press conferences, the Prime Minister said the "most vulnerable" must stay home for up to four months to stop them getting the virus.
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It comes as the number of UK deaths reached 37 deaths and around 1500 cases.
He said: "This avoiding all social contact is especially important for the over 70, pregnant women and those with health conditions.
"Those with the most serious conditions are largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks.
"It is now clear that the peak of the epidemic is coming faster in some parts of the country than others.
"People over 70 might feel there is something excessive about these measures.
"I believe they are overwhelmingly worth it to slow the spread of the disease reduce the peak save life minimise suffering and give our NHS the chance to cope."
Mr Shapps, the Transport Secretary, earlier told Radio 4's Today programme that they would not be completely housebound, saying: "We will ask people to do that as and when the moment is right.
"As I said to my mum, it is the case that people will be able to go out and walk your dog.
"It's about being sensible without going and mixing in crowds."
It's just one of several measures the Government are looking at implementing to try and tackle the spread, as countries across the world go into lockdown.
Mr Shapps said that the British public would have to "come together and protect the vulnerable" for what could be an extended period of time indoors.
The news is different for people who are ill at the moment, who are being told not to leave their homes under any circumstances.
Chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance are concerned that some elderly people could die at home from neglect if the quarantine is enforced too soon.
The plans are set to come into force in Britain in the next few weeks.
Boris Johnson and health secretary Mr Hancock are hoping that neighbours and loved ones will check in on OAPs to make sure they are ok.
A source said: "We are looking for a huge community effort.”
The number of cases could DOUBLE every five or six weeks if Britain didn't take "draconian" action now, he warned the country, in the most drastic action taken so far to tackle the disease.
"We are asking people to do something difficult and that will disrupt their lives," Boris admitted.
But he stressed that the most vulnerable were the focus of today's new measures.
The PM announced major crackdown rules today including:
- Urging Brits not to go to pubs, clubs or other social venues to try and stop spreading it around
- Whole families with symptoms such as a cough or a temperature should stay at home for TWO WEEKS to stop spreading it on to anyone else
They should not go out of the house – even to buy food or essentials. Exercise is allowed, but only at a safe distance.
- Millions of workers stay at home today in ghost town Britain
- Brits could face fines or even jail if they ignore quarantine rules under new emergency laws coming to Parliament this week
- Ministers warned they could be forced to ration supermarket products if panic buying continues
- Shoppers continued to raid supermarkets for food and supplies – even as officials begged them not to
- Boris Johnson will chair another emergency COBRA today
- More measures are thought to be revealed – including a ban on mass gatherings
- The youngest UK patient who has died of coronavirus was revealed to be a 59-year-old man yesterday
- Leaked documents say up to 8million could be hospitalised, and the outbreak may last up to a year
How to help elderly relatives cope with isolation
STAY AWAY IF YOU'RE SICK
Public Health England (PHE) says that people with coronavirus symptoms – dry cough, fever, and a general feeling of listlessness – should avoid seeing older relatives to avoid passing it on.
Ahead of new guidelines being published next week, the advice is the same as for the rest of the population.
HELP WITH SHOPPING
A great way to keep stocks of food and supplies is to mobilise elderly people with internet shopping.
But if they do not have access to the internet or are not handy with a computer, Age UK recommend that healthy, more active people help with running errands like picking up bits of shopping.
The Government is in talks with major retailers to ensure the elderly and vulnerable can still get access to supplies, such as through a telephone hotline where they can place orders.
AVOID VISITING GPs
Anyone showing symptoms, whether they are confirmed to have coronavirus or not, is advised to stay away from visiting their local GP surgery.
People suspected of being infected should check the NHS coronavirus webpage – and should only call 111 if they are directed to do so by the website, to avoid jamming the phone lines.
Part of the mental battle of isolation is remaining as active as possible – even if this means standing up 10 times in one hour and walking between rooms in the house.
If the elderly person you are helping has a garden, encourage them to walk around it – and make sure they are not immobile for long periods of time, watching television for long periods or remaining bed bound.
ENSURE STRICT CARER GUIDELINES
Ensure carers in homes or those doing regular home visits do not attend if they are sick or displaying symptoms of coronavirus.
GET MEDICINE DELIVERED
A number of pharmacies around the UK are making plans to deliver medication to elderly people in the event of self isolation.
USE THE INTERNET
However, older people are increasingly getting online – data from the Office for National Statistics show that 83 per cent of people aged 65 to 74 had used the internet in 2019, up from 52 per cent in 2011.
It may be worth ensuring that the older people in your life are set up with online shopping accounts now, are able to access social media to stay in touch with other or have been introduced to streaming services such as Netflix.
Food delivery companies Uber and Deliveroo could be drafted in to bring food to society's most vulnerable during the lockdown.
Meanwhile, shoppers are stripping supermarket shelves of essential items like toilet paper and dried pasta in a bid to stockpile goods.
Supermarkets have begged irresponsible panic buyers to leave enough for everyone, as Brits faced long queues at stops yesterday.
How prepare for self-isolaiton
Here, following government guidance, we take you through the steps you need to take if you have been told to self-isolate…
1. Stay at home
You should remain in your home, except for getting medical care.
Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis until you have been told that is safe to do so.
2. Separate yourself from others at home
You should stay separate yourself from other people in your home and stay in a well-ventilated room with a window to the outside that can be opened.
If you live in shared accommodation with a communal kitchen, bathroom and living area, you should stay in your room with the door closed, only coming out when necessary, wearing a facemask if one has been issued to you.
You should use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household, if available, and avoid using the kitchen while others are present. Take your meals back to your room to eat.
3. Use separate towels
You need to make sure you separate towels from other household members – both for drying yourself after bathing or showering and for hand hygiene purposes.
Use a dishwasher (if available) to clean and dry your used crockery and cutlery.
4. Leave takeaways on the doorstep
You will need to ask for help if you require any shopping or medications. Alternatively, you can order by phone or online.
If you order takeaways or online food shops, tell the driver to leave the goods outside, in the porch, or as appropriate for your home.
5. Call ahead before visiting your doctor
All medical appointments should be discussed in advance with your designated medical contact, using the number that has been provided to you.
This is so the surgery or hospital can take steps to minimise contact with others.
6. Wear a facemask (if advised to)
If you have been provided with facemasks, then you should wear the mask when you are in the same room with other people and when you visit a healthcare provider.
7. Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Dispose of tissues into a plastic waste bag, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds rinse and dry thoroughly.
8. Wash your hands
Wash your hands or assist the person you are caring for in washing their hands.
Experts say you need to wash your hands for 20 seconds – if in doubt, that's as long as it'll take you to hum along to Happy Birthday twice in a row.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
9. Don't share household items
You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home when you have used them.
After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water – dishwashers may be used to clean crockery and cutlery.
Laundry, bedding and towels should be placed in a plastic bag and washed once it is known that the tests for Covid-19 are negative.
If this is not possible and you need to wash the laundry see below for further advice on handling laundry.
10. Monitor your symptoms
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening, for example, if you have difficulty breathing, or if the person you are caring for symptoms are worsening.
11. Don't have visitors
You shouldn't have visitors to your home and only those who live in your home should be allowed to stay.
12. Keep away from pets
Try to keep away from your pets. If this is unavoidable, wash your hands before and after contact.
13. Be careful with waste
All waste that has been in contact with the individual, including used tissues, and masks if used, should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.
The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.
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