"I want, of course I do, people to be able to go to the parks, open spaces and enjoy themselves".
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new measures Monday to restrict people's movements as the coronavirus pandemic starts to take hold in the country. He added that it is essential to prevent the disease from spreading between homes.
The public will be allowed out of their homes for "one form of exercise" a day and only with those they live with - which will leave many Brits wondering if that's compulsory.
Other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship must also close immediately.
Johnson said the police will have the power to enforce the new requirements, including through fines and dispersing gatherings, and that these emergency measures will be in place for at least three weeks, subject to constant review.
He called the pandemic "the biggest threat this country has faced for decades" and said the already overstretched state-run National Health Service (NHS) would be unable to cope if the pace of transmission continues.
Mr Johnson announced the new measures in an address to the nation on Monday night, March 23, in lieu of his usual daily press conference.
"But at present there are just no easy options. The way ahead is hard.many lives will sadly be lost".
As of Monday evening, cases in the United Kingdom had soared to 6,650, and the death toll had reached 335.
Italy has suffered the most coronavirus deaths worldwide, with 6,077 fatalities out of 63,927 declared infections.
The Bank of England slashed interest rates to record lows, while finance minister Rishi Sunak unveiled a series of multi-billion-pound packages to help those affected.
Tonight's measures came after thousands of Britons had flocked to the seaside, parks and rural areas this weekend prompting a message from Mr Johnson urging the United Kingdom to heed the social distancing guidelines.
The government's chief scientific adviser has said it was a "reasonable" estimate that 55,000 people now have the virus in Britain. And responding to the visibly high use of parks and the London Underground during the outbreak, London Mayor Sadiq Khan implored people to stay at home unless they "absolutely need to" move about the city. We note that hotels and restaurants must close, except for delivery and takeaway, as well as pubs, and clubs, and shops, except supermarkets, corner stores, petrol stations, bike shops, post offices, banks, vehicle rentals, and others.
"You have to follow the social distancing", the Prime Minister said.
Meanwhile, continued stockpiling that has stripped supermarket shelves prompted a fresh warning about panic-buying.