Essex sees increase in coronavirus cases as county enters lockdown

Essex has seen a significant increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the county.

Public Health England have confirmed 88 people have now tested positive for Covid-19 in the region. This includes 13 cases in Thurrock and 8 in Southend-on-Sea.

The increase is similar to large rises in other cities, forcing the government to introduce tougher measures to stop the spread of the virus.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson ordered a lockdown of the UK for three weeks, telling people they must ‘stay at home’ or face a fine.

People will only be able to leave their home for shopping, one form of exercise a day for example a run, walk or cycle, any medical need, to provide care or help a vulnerable person, or to go to work. 

Updating the nation following a Cobra meeting with cabinet ministers, he 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.”

“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

To enforce the new measures, he said shops selling non-essential goods would be closed, as well as libraries, playgrounds and places of worship.

Gatherings of more than two people in public would be banned, excluding people that are in the same household. 

Weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies would be stopped, but excluding funerals. 

Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed.

The UK death toll now stands at 335, with a further 46 deaths in England, and Scotland and Wales each recording a further four deaths.

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