Throughout the day news reports were showing pictures of crowded beaches over the weekend, gatherings in town centres, and other social meetings. The government’s guidelines were being ignored by a large section of society.
In the afternoon TV stations started promoting a broadcast by prime minister Boris Johnson which would be on TV at 8.30pm. Until now his daily press conference had been shown around 5pm on the news channels, but this was going out in prime time and across all the main channels.
“Stay at home. The only you’re allowed out of your home is….” was Johnson’s message. We were now starting to understand what lockdown meant. We’re not allowed out of our homes unless one of these four conditions apply:
- Shopping for food/medical necessities – but get it delivered if you can
- Once a day for exercise – on your own or with members of your own household
- Medical need or providing care
- Travelling to or from work (if you can’t work from home)
If you are caught out of your home for any other reason the police can issue on the spot fines. The first will be £30, but if you continue they can escalate upto £1,000. New laws are to be rushed through parliament this week to confirm the right for police to issue these new fines. The laws will be reviewed every three months until they’re no longer needed.
This was a direct response to those people who didn’t follow the advice. While other countries had been quick to ban citizens from leaving their home, our government wanted to offer the opportunity for everybody to act responsibly without having to enforce it. They treated us like adults, yet some of us just couldn’t be trusted. Indeed, some even posted online that they will keep doing whatever they want, until they are banned from doing it; and that advice and guidance didn’t have to be followed.
I’ve thought it for some time, but these last few days have really confirmed my feeling that we’re now living in a society that says, “fuck you, I’ll look after myself”. That’s not all of society of course, but there’s enough people to make it noticable.