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Summary of UK Gov's 1st Daily Corona Meeting

Archive of the press conference provided by The Guardian.

This is in chronological order, and is simplified and summarised. For more information watch the full event.

  • Avoid non-essential travel, both foreign and local (pubs, clubs, etc)
  • Minimal social and physical contact
  • Work at home if you can
  • Shielding the vulnerable with serious underlying medical conditions for 12 weeks
  • Avoid mass gatherings
  • From tomorrow no longer supporting mass gatherings with emergency workers
  • UK entering fast growth period
  • Whole household isolation: one person in a household gets a fever or cough the whole household have to stay isolated for 14 days
  • Recommending social distancing again
  • Repeating to avoid gathering and travel
  • Mostly repeating
  • Other measures may be necessary ‘like school closures’ but they need to happen at the right time
  • They mostly only care about death rates not number of cases
  • Direct death: just cause disease
  • Indirect death: from no medical care - main aim
  • ‘Older people above 70, people in adult life who would normally be advised to have a flu vaccine (chronic diseases), pregnant women’ - who they care about
  • Even smaller list of people incoming
  • People with cancer / immune system suppressing diseases etc
  • Reiterating whole household isolation
  • You will probably get it if you live in a household with someone with it
  • Again, don’t contact NHS if you are self isolating with just mild or moderate disease, they basically don’t care
  • But if anyone’s health is getting worse do contact
  • Daily updates
  • As much transparency as possible


Will you close public spaces?

Strong advice to not do public spaces but no enforcement, but if necessary will do but doubt it will be needed.

What about care homes?

Avoid visitors and contact (again).

WHO says to test everyone no matter symptoms but you’re not?

3 levels of testing:

  • Intensive care testing
  • Hospitals
  • GPs


  • No longer care about geography
  • Planning to scale testing
  • Wanting a test to see if they’ve had it perviously so can see even if no symptoms

Other countries are going further with lockdown what are you going to do?

  • Other countries are in other stages we care about timing
  • Not going to do anything else atm
  • Keeping all measures under review
  • Whose has had / in the past is important too
  • Especially without symptoms

There’s only volunteery stuff for now (self isolation, travel), are you gonna add criminal sanctions if people don’t do it?

We are mature we don’t need to straight out ban things.

If people shouldn’t go to pubs and businesses what are you going to do to support them?

  • Considerable challenge for all businesses, gov will try to help them
  • Look at policies, taxes included

Where are we compared to Italy?

We think we are 3 weeks behind Italy, but on fast upswing.

What will happen with the economy?

Might be a severe blow for economy but hopefully will be short term.

Why did you say 7 days before?

If anyone in a family gets it stay for 14 because:

  • Person who has it isolates for 7 days
  • Other people may not have symptoms until 7 days

What about advice for pregnant women?

About pregnancy it seems like there were no complications during birth.

  • Small risk but we won’t know yet
  • Seemingly not bad but being precautionary until we don’t know

How to support families and couples with small amount of sick pay?

Making sure sick pay pays enough. ‘No one should be penalised for doing the right thing [self isolating]’

Irish government did big measures but Northern Island haven’t - are Northern Ireland people safe?

Yes (no full reason given).

What about Westminster with London being heavily affected?

Democracy shall stay the same and those with health conditions shall be shielded.

Will MPs get special care?


How long will these measures last?

Minimum amount of time will be ‘quite a number of weeks’.

Wrapping it up

“Today we’re announcing a very substantial change in people’s lives and there hasn’t been anything like this since peace time / in my [Boris’] lifetime”