Last updated: 26th March 2020

PM statement on coronavirus: 25 March 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement on coronavirus.

Good afternoon.

Thank you for joining us for today’s daily briefing on coronavirus.

I would like to update you all on the government’s plan to defeat the virus and on the latest developments.

I am joined once again by our Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and the Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance.

From the very beginning of this crisis I have followed the advice of our world-leading scientists.

To defeat coronavirus by taking the right measures at the right time.

What everyone needs to recognise is that our NHS – like any world-class health service – has only limited numbers of doctors, nurses and specialist equipment.

So, the more people who become sick at any one time, the harder it is for the NHS to cope.

And so it is vital to delay the spread of the disease and reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment at any one time.

That is why we have given the clear instruction that people must stay at home – unless they have one of the reasons we have set out.

And, with your help we will slow the spread of the disease.

I want to thank everyone who has been following the clear rules that we set out on Monday.

And I want to thank everyone in the NHS, the front line of the fight against coronavirus.

And of course all our public services.

Our teachers and our school staff, the transport workers, police officers,

And everyone who is keeping this country going.

But I also want to offer a special thank you to everyone who has now volunteered to help the NHS.

When we launched the appeal last night we hoped to get 250,000 over a few days.

But I can tell you that in just 24 hours 405,000 people have responded to the call.

They will be driving medicines from pharmacies to patients.

They will be bringing patients home from hospital.

Very importantly they’ll be making regular phone calls to check on and support people who are staying on their own at home.

And they will be absolutely crucial in the fight against this virus.

That is already – in one day – as many volunteers as the population of Coventry.

And so, to all of you, and to all the former NHS staff who are coming back now into the service.

I say thank you on behalf of the entire country.

Now I want to take some questions but finally I want to remind everyone of our core policy:

Stay at home

Protect the NHS

And save lives.

Subject: Last Night’s announcement - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A number of Associations have contacted me following the PMs announcement of further social distancing measures being introduced to combat Coronavirus.

To clarify – Government lines to business are:

  • If it is impossible for you to work from home, you are able to go to work. For example, this will apply to those who do manual labour, such as in the construction and manufacturing industries, as well as those who provide services that cannot be done from home.
  • You are able to go to work if you absolutely have to, unless you are a vulnerable member of society, in which case we urge you to stay at home as per the guidance.

Please distribute this advice as widely as you are able. This is raised with comms teams here.

Terence Boniface
Assistant Director – Electronics and Machinery