THE Prime Minister has announced a new set of guidelines to be followed to restrict the spread of coronavirus as the country goes into an effective lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has outlined the new limits on people leaving their homes to help slow the spread of coronavirus in a speech to the nation on Monday evening.

He said: “The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades – and this country is not alone. All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this invisible killer.

“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.

“So, it’s vital to slow the spread of the disease.”

Mr Johnson laid out the following guidelines which were the only expectations for people to leave their homes.

These include shopping for basic necessities, ideally as infrequently as possible, one form of exercise a day such as a run, walk, or cycle either alone or with members of your own household, any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person and travelling to and from work where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

The Prime Minister said: “You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say No.

You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.

You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine — and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.”

He adds that police will have powers to fine people not following guidance.

Ministers will have the power to close shops selling non-essential items, stop gatherings of more than two people, and stopping social events including weddings, but excluding funerals.

Mr Johnson hopes to be able to relax these measures in the next three weeks - should the situation permit this.

He acknowledged the move would disrupt people’s lives, businesses and jobs.

“I can assure you that we will keep these restrictions under constant review,” he said.

He thanked those working to delay the spread of the virus.

Johnson said: "Each and every one of us is enlisted in the fight against coronavirus. We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together.

"I urge you in this moment of national emergency to stay at home and save lives."