The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic "is accelerating" in the United Kingdom, under threat of the same crisis experienced by Italy if the population, numerous in parks and beaches this weekend, does not respect the instructions of social isolation, the authorities warned in this Sunday.
“The numbers are impressive and are accelerating. We are only a few weeks away - two or three - from Italy. Italians have an excellent health system. And yet, their doctors and nurses are completely overwhelmed with demand, ”said Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in a message to the country.
While many Britons continue to go out to enjoy the good weather, Boris Johnson called on his countrymen for a "national collective effort" to slow the spread of the virus, which killed 233 people in the UK.
“Otherwise, public health will be submerged in the same way” as in Italy.
"Parks and beaches shouldn't be crowded," Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon told a news conference, also lamenting that "people are migrating to remote areas of Scotland", which can spread the virus.
Addressing the “small number” of bars that remain open despite the recommendations, the leader warned: “We will adopt emergency powers in the coming days to force it to close”.
Crowds in the parks
The National Trust, responsible for protecting British historic and natural heritage, has closed its parks and gardens.
In London, the famous Kew Gardens remained closed, but the royal parks are still open and lament the “crowd scenes” seen on Saturday.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has asked Londoners to avoid contact, or "more people will die," he told the BBC.
"The public may not be aware, but the situation is already bad in London," said Andrea Collins, professor of respiratory medicine at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
"The intensive care units in the capital are full of suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19 and many of those being treated are less than 50 years old," he warned.
The government on Sunday put pressure on 1,5 million fragile people living in England not to leave their homes for at least three months. Among them, patients with blood or bone marrow cancer, people transplanted or who suffer from cystic fibrosis or severe chronic bronchitis.
Boris Johnson also suggested that Britons who celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday call their mothers instead of visiting them.
In view of the spread of the virus, the government ordered schools, pubs, restaurants, theaters, cinemas and gyms to be closed.
According to the French newspaper Liberation, Johnson took these steps after French President Emmanuel Macron threatened to close the borders between France and the UK, which Downing Street denied.
"As the Prime Minister said on Friday, these new measures were taken based on scientific advice and following the government's action plan established two weeks ago," said a Downing Street spokesman.