March 18, 2020 / 5:59 PM / 20 days ago

London lockdown? UK PM Johnson says 'we will rule nothing out'

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a news conference on the ongoing situation with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London, Britain March 17, 2020. Matt Dunham/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government was ruling nothing out when asked whether he would bring in measures to lock down London because people were flouting warnings to avoid social gatherings.

Pressed at a news conference whether tougher measures were needed to shut down London where bars, public transport and businesses remain busy, Johnson said: “We’ve always said we’re going to do the right measures at the right time.

“A lot of people are making a real heroic effort to comply with the advice we’ve given, but as I’ve said ... we keep everything under continuous review.”

To the suggestion of instigating legal restrictions on people’s travel movements in London or elsewhere, he said: “It’s one of the great features of our lives that we don’t tend to impose those sorts of restrictions on people in this country, but I have to tell you we will rule nothing out.”

He added: “We will certainly wish to consider bringing forward further and faster measures where that is necessary to suppress the peak of the epidemic, to protect our NHS (National Health Service), to minimize casualties and to minimize suffering.”

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison

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