Boris Johnson has placed the UK on lockdown to tackle the coronavirus.

In a special broadcast last night, he threatened police fines for anyone who ignores new measures including a ban on public gatherings of more than two people.

The Prime Minister detailed a short list of reasons why individuals can leave their homes as he ordered the immediate closure of all shops selling non-essentials items tonight.

He ordered people to only leave the house to shop for basic necessities “as infrequently as possible” and to perform one form of exercise a day.

Or they could seek medical help, provide care to a vulnerable person or travel to work if “absolutely necessary”, he said in a televised address from within Downing Street.

“That’s all - these are the only reasons you should leave your home,” he said.

“You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say No. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.

“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

To ensure people follow the rules, Mr Johnson ordered the immediate closure of non-essential stores including those selling electronics and clothing.

All public gatherings of more than two people - other than those you live with - will be barred, the PM said.

Other premises being shuttered are libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship.

And, while parks will remain open for exercise, all social events including weddings and baptisms will be stopped.

Funerals, however, can continue.

Mr Johnson said the measures will be “under constant review” and will be considered for relaxation in three weeks’ time if the evidence allows.

The move comes after people were left outraged after images of crowded parks and fells over the weekend were widely shared.

An influx of visitors, staycationers and second home owners to Cumbria even prompted Gill Haigh, chief executive of Cumbria Tourism, to remind the public that everyone has a responsibility to save lives.

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison went a step further, and urged people to stay away.

Prior to Mr Johnson’s announcement, she said: “The reality is that our older demographic, relative poor health and limited medical facilities will be very shortly overwhelmed because people have not taken the advice seriously enough.

“Preventable deaths are now inevitable but thousands of people could still be saved.”

Mrs Harrison praised Cumbria Tourism chief executive Gill Haigh on her swift action.

“I spoke to her on Saturday morning and I was so pleased she took immediate action and worked all weekend to implement measures.”

She said the two groups, along with other stakeholders, had taken unprecedented steps to advise all tourism businesses, including accommodation providers, that the Lake District is not open for business and they should not accept visitors or take bookings.

“The Coronavirus Bill is Parliament’s absolute priority this week, to enable powers of national quarantine and a whole range of other legal changes. The most draconian of enforcements could be prevented if people would take this seriously - but reports from all over Copeland at the weekend demonstrate some people are not.

“Please take personal responsibility to protect our community.”

Mrs Haigh said the plea to stay away applied to campsites and caravan parks and also to people who owned second homes in the Lake District, too.

“Following on from the Government’s latest guidance on social distancing, we are needing to ask people to avoid travelling unless it is essential.”

In a statement yesterday she said: “Government guidance today makes it clear that this includes visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays.

“People should remain in their primary residence, as mass movement of people contributes to the spread of this virus.

“Secondly, Cumbria’s public health system is only designed to meet the needs of its full-time local residents, and given our above-average ageing population here in Cumbria, it is likely to be under immense pressure just servicing our residents’ needs.

“Although we would love to see all of our regular visitors, we really need you to support the official advice to stay at home and stay safe.

“We all have a responsibility – visitors, tourism businesses and residents - to heed advice and help save lives.”

Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, added: “We will continue to work with the police, local councils and other partners to look after our staff and volunteers and everyone who calls the Lake District home.

“We look forward to a time when we will, once again, return to some sense of normality and welcome visitors back to this special place.”