ST HELENS’ MPs have urged the public to adhere to the government’s lockdown measures to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

On Monday, Boris Johnson announced a range of draconian measures after crowds of people flocked to parks and public spaces over the weekend.

The Prime Minister asked the public to go out to buy basic necessities such as food and medicine “as infrequently as possible” and to travel to and from work when it is “absolutely necessary”.

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Mr Johnson said people should not be meeting friends and banned all gatherings of more than two people unless they live together.

Members of the public are allowed to go outside for one form of exercise a day, such as a run, walk, or cycle, which can be done in parks.

This means people who do not live in the same household should stay two metres apart at all times.

Government guidance says even when doing these activities, you should be minimising the time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

The draconian measures are some of the greatest restrictions on personal freedoms in the UK in modern history.

But we must all follow them to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed 422 people in the UK at the time of writing.

“I realise that these measures will cause difficulty for many in our community across St Helens,” said Conor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North.

“My office has been inundated with contact from constituents who are worried about their jobs, work or businesses and their future financial security.

“People are also fearful of the impact the virus will have on vulnerable and elderly relatives.

“But these measures are required to prevent the spread of coronavirus, protect our NHS and save lives.

St Helens Star: Conor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North Conor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North

“This is a national emergency and requires the effort and co-operation of every single person in St Helens and the country to help overcome it.

“So please follow the rules set out by the Prime Minister. They are not optional. They are necessary to save people’s lives.”

Marie Rimmer, Labour MP for St Helens South and Whiston, stressed the importance of social distancing, particularly when outdoors.

The former leader of St Helens Council said doing this will help the “amazing NHS staff” who are caring for those who have been hospitalised by the virus.

“We find ourselves in unprecedented times, but we all have a part to play in slowing this virus,” Ms Rimmer said.

“To do this we must follow the official advice that the Prime Minister set out.

“It is so important that everyone sticks to the rules, especially when going outside. Whether you’re in the supermarket, or walking down the street, keep two metres apart.

“It’s a simple thing, but one that we can all do to help. Our doctors, nurses and all the amazing NHS staff are working around the clock to look after those who need it.

“All they ask for in return is that we follow the advice and stay at home to make their jobs easier. If we all do our bit, together we can get through this.”

St Helens Star: Marie Rimmer, Labour MP for St Helens South and WhistonMarie Rimmer, Labour MP for St Helens South and Whiston

Mr McGinn said he will continue to make representations directly to government ministers for support for workers and families – including self-employed workers – and businesses, as well as those who are struggling to access their benefits and pensions.

The Labour MP said he has also pressed the government to urgently get all the resources needed to our local NHS and social care, most urgently protective clothing and testing for frontline workers.

Mr McGinn said: “I know our community and people in St Helens borough are resilient, patriotic and generous.

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“The surge in volunteers coming forward to help, alongside the incredible efforts of local sports clubs, churches, businesses, the council and charities to look after the vulnerable is inspirational.

“Take care of yourselves, your loved ones and your neighbours. And do your duty by them and the country following the rules and staying at home.

“The best way for us to stick together is by staying apart.“