PM unveils ‘shielding measures’ as more details given on 1.5m ‘vulnerable’

Boris Johnson confirmed the NHS will be writing to 1.5m of the most vulnerable Brits, in a bid to “shield” them from coronavirus.

During the conference on Sunday, Boris said he can guarantee the government is "behind" businesses and the public as it moves to take "special steps" to shield the most vulnerable.

Under the new measures, OAPs, cancer victims, and heart attack survivors will have to go without any socialising for up to 12 weeks.

The group is not defined by age but by those with particular underlying health conditions, who are at risk of getting complications from COVID-19.

It includes people with cancer, those undergoing active chemotherapy, people with chest conditions, cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and those suffering from disease of body systems, including, severe kidney disease and those who have received organ transplants.

On Friday, the Prime Minister ordered pubs, clubs, theatres, and leisure centres to close as of midnight, a move which was welcomed by the public.

The relaxed attitude towards social distancing continued on Saturday, with reports of large groups of people attempting to climb Mt Snowdon.

Large groups of people were also snapped enjoying Mother’s Day despite the Prime Minister advising people to FaceTime their loved ones instead.

Ahead of Johnson’s daily conference from Downing Street, he reminded Brits of the importance of social distancing.

In a Tweet, Johnson wrote: "We will get through this together, and we will beat the virus.

"To win this fight, we need everyone to follow our advice: as far as possible, we want you to stay at home.

"The more effectively everyone does this, the faster this country will recover."

Coronavirus cases in the UK have now surpassed 4,000, with COVID-19 taking the lives of 243 Brits.

Boris Johnson said London, the most affected area in Britain, is 14 days ahead of the country in terms of transmission.

Johnson had delayed strict measures in favour of a "heard immunity" approached, but quickly changed his mind as cases grew.

The aim was to avoid an Italy-like scenario which would not overwhelm the National Health Service and emergency services.

Italy is currently two weeks ahead of the UK, with a death toll of almost 5,000 as of Saturday.

  • Boozy Brits defy coronavirus advice to hit pubs for 'last night of freedom'

He said NHS doctors could soon have to make heartbreaking decision about which patients to treat, like overwhelmed Italian doctors.

Mr Johnson said: "Unless we act together, unless we make the heroic and collective national effort to slow the spread – then it is all too likely that our own NHS will be similarly overwhelmed.

"The Italians have a superb health-care system.

"And yet their doctors and nurses have been completely overwhelmed by the demand."

  • Coronavirus

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