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Police 'stop calling 999' after PM's announcement

Police forces across our region last night asked people to stop calling 999 to find out what Boris Johnson's announcement meant for them.

Avon and Somerset Police say their phone lines were 'extremely busy' and warned lines needed to remain available for those in an emergency.

The Chief Constable of Dorset Police also took to social media pledging they would continue to support communities and 'ensure everyone is safe'.

Wiltshire Police say their 'strategic coordinating group' will be meeting this morning. The chief constable and police commissioner last night issued a joint statement saying they'll be discussing the PM's announcement and the response to it in the county.

Boris Johnson announced severe new restrictions on movement as his government tries to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

People can now only leave home for shopping, for one form of exercise a day, for a medical appointment or to help a vulnerable person.

They can also go to work - but only if absolutely necessary.

The prime minister says we should not be meeting our friends, or family members we don't live with.

Police will be able to fine those who flout the restrictions.

The measures will be in place for at least three weeks.

It comes as the number of people who have died in the UK with Covid-19 has reached 335.

The number of current confirmed active cases of the virus in the South West is at 278, with 32 in Gloucestershire and 19 in South Gloucestershire.

President Trump says he wants to reopen the US for business in weeks, not months.

He claims continued closures could result in more deaths than Covid-19 itself.

The Foreign Office is urging British people travelling abroad to come back to the UK now. It says tourists should come home while commercial flights are still available.

The latest figures show there's 278 active cases across the South West.

Avon & Somerset Police

Dorset Police

Wiltshire Police

West Dorset MP Chris Loder 
Whilst appreciating the immense change to our daily lives that this lockdown will bring, it must be welcomed. To put it simply, if too many people become seriously ill at one time, the NHS will not be able to cope – meaning more people are likely to die, not just from coronavirus but from other serious illnesses as well. This deadly virus is growing rapidly around the UK. Nearer home, the Hampshire County Council area has the highest number of cases of any local authority area in the country, with 171 cases reported on Monday. Already Dorset and the BCP area combined has 27 cases and, very sadly, last weekend West Dorset had its first death from coronavirus, at Dorchester County Hospital, and I send my sincere condolences to that family at this very difficult time for them.All churches and places of worship are to close, with baptisms and weddings cancelled. Funerals will continue, subject to social distancing being observed and restrictions on the number of mourners attending. Every shop deemed to be non-essential will shut down and the lockdown will be reviewed every three weeks but is likely to last for months. Boris Johnson has said we will only be able to leave our homes for one of four reasons: shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible; one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household; any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home. Gatherings of more than two people in public have also been stopped – excluding with the people you live with. The Prime Minister said: "You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say no. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home. You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine – and you should do this as little as you can."

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