Seven coronavirus cases diagnosed in North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 12:55 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:55 24 March 2020

Schools to close from Friday.

Schools to close from Friday.

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Two more cases of coronavirus have been recorded in North Somerset, but figures are expected to be much higher.

There are now seven recorded cases in the area, according to Public Health England’s figures yesterday (Tuesday), but the Government is no longer testing people who are self-isolating with mild symptoms so many cases may go undetected.

The Prime Minister has announced tough new rules to crack down on people flouting social distancing guidance to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect the vulnerable and NHS staff.

More: The UK goes into coronavirus lockdown as Prime Minister implores people to ‘stay at home’.

Across the UK, 6,650 people had tested positive for coronavirus as of 9am on Monday, up from 5,683 at the same point on Sunday, Department of Health and Social Care figures show.

In total, 83,945 people had been tested and 335 have died.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined new restrictions on people leaving their homes to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

People will now only be allowed to leave their homes for limited purposes, such as shopping for basic necessities, and as infrequently as possible.

One form of exercise a day will be allowed – for example a run, walk or cycle – alone or with members of your household, while those with any medical need or anyone providing care or helping a vulnerable person will be permitted to travel.

Travelling to and from work will be permitted, but only when absolutely necessary and work cannot be done from home.

Addressing the nation, he said: “From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.

“Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.”

The PM also announced that police would have powers to disperse gatherings of more than two people, and could fine anyone not following the rules.

Mr Johnson said: “Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses.

“To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it – meaning more people are likely to die, not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well.”

All shops selling non-essential goods are to shut, including clothing and electronic stores, as are libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship.

Mr Johnson assured the public that the restrictions are to be kept under constant review, and could be relaxed in three weeks if evidence shows the Government is able.

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