The UK has been put into lockdown as the government doubles down on its response to the continuing coronavirus crisis.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed a raft of strict new measures in a televised announcement to the public last night (23 March).
In order to slow and control the spread of Covid-19 and to prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed, Johnson said that people non-essential shops will be closed and that people should only leave their homes for essential food and medicine.
To enforce these new measures, he added that police will be issuing fines to those that flout the rules and will disperse gatherings of more than two people.
In response, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said: “Protecting the public will protect businesses in the long run. These latest measures will of course present great challenges, disrupting daily lives and the normal run of business. But we all owe it to each other to act responsibly, both people and businesses.
“The economic support the Government is providing and the determination of firms to support their employees mean together that the right action can be taken to protect lives and livelihoods.”
BCC Director General Adam Marshall said: “Businesses must play their part to help limit the spread of Coronavirus.
“As the UK goes into lockdown, ministers must be crystal-clear about which businesses can continue to operate, and those which must now shut their doors.
“The new restrictions make it all the more important that the package of financial support announced by ministers last week is delivered to firms and employees on the ground as quickly as possible.”