QUEEN guitarist Brian May says it was "the right thing" for U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ban people from leaving their homes apart from for a few "very limited" reasons during the coronavirus pandemic.
In an address from Downing Street, Johnson said he will order police to enforce a strict coronavirus lockdown, with a ban on gatherings of more than two people and strict limits on exercise. All non-essential shops will close with immediate effect, as will playgrounds and libraries.
On Monday night (March 23), May released a video message in which he addressed the lockdown, saying that the more stringent measures are "long overdue."
He said: "The news is that the government has finally shut Britain down in the sense of forcing everyone into isolation. In my opinion, [it was] long overdue. I hope there's no backlash from people saying it's an overreaction or something, 'cause the time for all that is well, well passed. And I just wish that the government had had the courage three weeks ago to take this action, because it was obvious to any of us who had any mathematical intuition or [chuckles] understanding three weeks ago that this is where we were gonna be at this point. We had the models in front of us — we had China, we had Italy to look at; it was obvious. And, unfortunately, in delaying so long before the actual measure was put in is gonna cost a lot of lives — a lot, a lot, a lot. Still, it was the right thing to do now, so please, everybody, don't argue with Boris. It's time to isolate."
The new measures are being implemented after a weekend during which crowds of people were seen at U.K. beaches, parks, markets and other public spaces.
More than 83,000 people in the U.K. have been tested for coronavirus, with 6,710 testing positive.
More than 390,000 coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide and more than 17,000 deaths so far, putting public health systems and emergency services under immense pressure.
U.S. officials have repeatedly urged Americans to heed what federal, state and local officials are asking of them in order to curtail the spread and dampen the impact of the virus on the population.