UK coronavirus lockdown as mass gatherings and sport games to be banned

Mass gatherings will be banned across the UK as the coronavirus outbreak sweeps the nation, it has been reported.

The move is set to be enforced from next weekend and will see sports fixtures, music concerts and business conferences all postponed.

A Whitehall source said the move will help free-up emergency services rather than curb the spread of the disease.

The source declined to say how many people meant a “mass gathering”, but told the Mirror tonight: “Ministers are working with the Chief Scientific Adviser and Chief Medical Officer on our plan to stop various types of public event, including mass gatherings, beginning next week.

“We are also talking to businesses and other bodies about the timing of moving towards much more widespread working from home.

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“There are many complex considerations to make all these measures as effective as possible.

“We will make the right decisions at the right time based on the best scientific evidence.

“For example, we are concerned about the burden large events put on public services – including the health service and the police – from dealing with coronavirus.

“Officials are working with industry bodies to identify how to support businesses that will be affected by this decision.

“We have drafted emergency legislation to give the Government the powers it needs to deal with coronavirus, including powers to stop mass gatherings and compensate organisations.

“We will publish this legislation next week.”

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Thursday "many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time" as coronavirus pandemic sweeps the country.

He also told the country that people with even mild cold symptoms must self isolate immediately.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had earlier on Friday announced the UK had moved from "contain" to the "delay" phase over the coronavirus outbreak.

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