UK Parliament set to close as nationwide lockdown sets in

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As the UK adopts increasingly stringent measures to combat the coronavirus, British MPs are expected to vote later to close Parliament until April 21– breaking a week earlier than the traditional Easter recess.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a nationwide lockdown on Monday evening, telling the public to stay at home and banning groups of more than two people.

After passing emergency laws, the House of Commons will now vote on whether to shut down Parliament earlier than the planned Easter break on March 31. The motion is expected to pass unopposed.

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In mid-March, junior health minister Nadine Dorries contracted the illness. 

Police and the government are rushing to enforce social distancing measures to relieve pressure on the National Health Service.

Johnson has demanded citizens stay at home or face getting arrested. “If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce,” the PM warned.

This means no direct contact with friends or family members who do not live in the same home, and only leaving to shop for food “as infrequently as possible,”“one form of exercise” a day, getting medical care, or commuting to and from work if absolutely necessary.

People could be fined up to £30 for meeting in groups without a valid reason.

Britain currently has 8,077 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 422 deaths – an increase of 87 in just 24 hours.

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