The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, has announced a new list of emergency measures against the coronavirus pandemic for the third time in less than two weeks.However the gradual approach adopted by the British government, which is juggling policies to protect health on one side and the economy on the other, is still causing confusion. Above all there is confusion about who has essential jobs and who hasn't. And the provision that people should not go to work unless they can not work at home leaves many gaps.
These are the new measures announced last night:People are not allowed out of their homes unless it is for essential shopping, for food and medical supplies.People are allowed out of their homes once a day for one form of exercise (listed as walking, running or bicycling). They must be alone or only with people from their household.
People are also allowed out for medical needs and to help the vulnerable. Key workers can still send their children to school although where these schools are and how they will be staffed is uncertain. Children under 18 in separated families may still be transported between the homes of their parents.
Travel to and from work is only allowed when the work can not be done at home.
If necessary police will be used to disperse gatherings of more than two.
Social events such as weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies have been stopped, but not funerals, yet.
Shops selling non-essential goods must shut. This did not stop SportsDirect, the country's largest sports goods retailer, from saying it would open this morning as usual, until peer pressure forced it to re-think.
This is the list of business that can remain open:Restaurants, cafes and work canteens, but only to provide take-aways and delivery services.Supermarkets and market stalls.
Petrol stations, garage repairs and car rental companies.
Post offices and corner shops.
Dry cleaners and laundrettes.
The prime minister also said in his broadcast that these measures will be in force for three weeks (until 13 April, which is also the Monday after Easter and will therefore keep people at home during the Easter holidays) and that there are still other measures that may be taken if these do not work.