An SMS message has been sent out to every active UK phone number telling people to stay at home to “protect the NHS” and “save lives”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the historic lockdown in an address to the nation on Monday night.
He told members of the public they should only go outside for four reasons: work (if they can’t do so from home), shopping for food or medicines, exercise once a day, to help someone vulnerable, or for any medical need.
A former Met Police chief superintendent, Dal Babu, said the aim was likely to make people understand there is now a “much clearer message” from Downing Street.
He told Sky News’ Kay Burley@Breakfast: “Unfortunately the government has been a little bit behind the curve here, because it’s entirely predictable that emergency services – not just in the NHS, but in the police and fire brigade – will become unwell.