Breaking: Sheffield passes 100 coronavirus cases as PM locks down Britain
The biggest daily increase
Sheffield has passed 100 coronavirus cases as Boris Johnson ordered a national lockdown tonight.
Public Health England figures show the city now has 106 confirmed cases, a rise of 24 in as many hours – the biggest daily increase yet – as deaths rose to three.
Infections soared over the weekend, having stood at 61 on Saturday night. It means Sheffield has the second highest concentration of cases of any local authority outside South East England, and more cases than Manchester, Leeds and York combined.
The Prime Minister tonight told all Brits they “must stay at home” and are now only allowed out for:
• basic shopping necessities
• one form of exercise per day
• any medical need or to care for a vulnerable person
•.travel to or from work but only where absolutely necessary.
Warning that those who refuse to comply face fines, Mr Johnson also said gatherings of more than two people will be dispersed by police, in the most drastic curbs on daily life the UK has ever seen in peacetime.
Parks will remain open but all non-essential shops are shutting with immediate effect. Weddings, baptisms and other social events are also banned as the government desperately tries to relieve pressure on the NHS, warning the pandemic is “accelerating”.
The PM told the nation in a special address tonight: “Though huge numbers are complying – and I thank you all – the time has now come for us all to do more.
“From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.
“Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.”
The measures will last at least three weeks and will be kept under constant review, the government said.
The UK’s death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic rose again to 355 today, a rise of 54 in one day, with 6,650 confirmed cases.
Pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and cinemas had already been told to close except takeaway services, but will now have to shut down completely.
The government has offered financial relief to struggling businesses, but Leadmill is addressing the stockpiling frenzy by flogging toilet roll and memorabilia in a bid to survive the loss of trade.
Universities across the country including Oxford and Cambridge have closed and campuses emptied, with most not expected to fully reopen before September.
Classes have been moved online nationwide, while some institutions have axed exams or pledged to deliver them digitally, and others have postponed graduation ceremonies.
The Uni of Sheffield and Hallam are among them, both shutting down all uni buildings. Hallam has said it is moving exams online “wherever possible”, but its neighbour institution has not yet made an announcement on assessments.
Schools have also closed to all pupils except children of the government’s listed “key workers”, and A Levels and GCSEs have been cancelled.
Anyone in Sheffield who has Covid-19 symptoms can visit a discreet testing centre at Sheffield Parkway by appointment with 111. More details here.