Emergency services, MPs and organisations have been giving their reaction to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement last night.
The Prime Minister confirmed greater restrictions across the UK to help combat the spread of coronavirus:
These new measures include:
- Shops selling 'non-essential goods' closing with immediate effect
- Gatherings of more than two people (excluding those who live together) being banned
- People being able to leave home for just one form of exercise a day
We've compiled this article to provide reaction in the east to the news:
Emergency services across the eats of England have reacted to the new Coronavirus Bill as they aim to allay fears of the general public.
Police forces including both Norfolk and Suffolk have urged people to only call 999 in the case of an emergency, adding they are wary that the public have concerns following the Prime Minister's announcement.
Please follow the advice issued by the government on #coronavirus. It’s important we do our best to protect others at this time. We all have a role to play. #NorfolkPoliceProtectAndServe pic.twitter.com/4T7QhfcmW4— Norfolk Police (@NorfolkPolice) March 23, 2020
Suffolk Police's Chief Constable, Steve Jupp, has urged people to comply with the new Government measures to protect the NHS and the public.
He said: "It is imperative people comply with these new measures to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed and to ensure lives are saved.
"The moves so far to limit social distancing have not had the necessary effect, with some people still going about their business as if the threat from coronavirus didn’t exist.
"It has to stop. We all need to work together to protect our NHS and other public services so that we can ensure we can help you."
Meanwhile Simon Bailey, Norfolk Police's Chief Constable, is urging people in his county to do the same: "Officers will continue to be out in their communities, speaking to people as we always do and taking the opportunity to explain the new rules and ask what people are doing and why they are out.
"We will continue to work within our traditional policing model, with the consent of the public. The vast majority of the public understand why we may need to use the new powers, but we will of course negotiate and convince before resorting to the law.
"These new measures are there to save lives and protect our loves ones. We will be enforcing them, as the public would expect and want us to."
Local, district and county councils have also reacted to the news, highlighting the importance of adhering to the governments new restrictions. These include statements on stressing the need for their local residents to stay home, as well as the closure of some parks, open spaces and recycling spaces.
“Everyone in Suffolk must listen and follow this very clear direction from the Government. We must now all stay at home unless journeys are absolutely essential." - Leader of SCC Cllr. Matthew Hicks responds to Prime Minister's statement: https://t.co/7bzSCTnsqL #Covid19Suffolk pic.twitter.com/zdSEowY4jM— Suffolk CC (@suffolkcc) March 23, 2020
Local MPs have also been having their say on the measures and emphasising the need to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to leave.
Essex-based MP and Home Secretary Priti Patel has said she'll do 'everything she can' to ensure our 'frontline police officers have everything they need to keep the public and themselves safe'.
Labour and opposition MP Clive Lewis, who represents the Norwich South constituency raised a few concerns.
If you are a business owner, you can find a definitive list on which businesses must now close by clicking here.