The Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation tonight at 8.30pm. The speech from Downing Street will be televised.

This will be followed by a media briefing by the First Minister from St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh. This will be live on The Scottish Government’s Twitter feed and probably also the BBC.

It looks likely given all the photos and videos we have all seen of people gathering out of doors in huge numbers across the UK, that further measures will now be put in place to ensure that everyone adheres to the instructions to stay at home.

In the Commons there is emergency legislation being debated this evening. The Coronavirus Bill is designed to go through Westminster without too much discussion, although there are about 30 MPs in the House debating its clauses.

The measures in the coronavirus bill are temporary, and according to the government are proportionate to the threat, will only be used when strictly necessary and will be in place for as long as required to respond to the situation.

They are intended to protect life and the nation’s public health and ensure NHS and social care staff are supported to deal with significant extra pressure on the health system.

They fall into 5 key categories:

  • containing and slowing the virus
  • easing legislative and regulatory requirements
  • enhancing capacity and the flexible deployment of staff across essential services
  • managing the deceased in a dignified way
  • supporting and protecting the public to do the right thing and follow public health advice

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