As the pandemic of Coronavirus claims more lives around the world, the people of the United Kingdom are now being advised to make drastic changes to their day-to-day existence.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected criticism that his government had been slow to respond to the scale of the crisis.
Mr Johnson said now was the moment to stop all non-essential contact with other people and to avoid all non-essential travel.
The over 70s, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions need to be particularly vigilant.
Entire families must self-isolate for 14 days if just one member has a persistent new cough or a high temperature.
From this weekend those with the most serious health conditions should be isolated from social contact for 12 weeks
Today’s announcement marks a significant shift from the UK government’s position last week. Minutes before the news conference took place the World Health Organization called for stronger measures than the UK and some other countries were taking.
Officials are now convinced that the UK is on the verge of a major upswing in cases and there are genuine concerns about the impact on the National Health Service.
Huw Edwards presents tonight’s BBC News at Ten and unravels the day’s events with the BBC’s health editor Hugh Pym and medical correspondent Fergus Walsh.