The United Kingdom Government introduced three new measures which came into effect on 23 March:
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes;
- Closing certain businesses and venues; and
- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.
Every person in the UK must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
In a very small number of cases in which a SME has purchased a business interruption insurance policy with additional cover for a ‘notifiable disease’, that SME will be covered. To address this, the Chancellor announced an unprecedented package of Government-backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses, making available an initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of gross domestic product.