Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Britons to stay home and outlined stricter measures yet to come in the fight against the coronavirus.
“It’s important for me to level with you – we know things will get worse before they get better,” Mr Johnson wrote in a letter issued by Downing Street.
The missive is to be delivered to 30 million households this week.
“We are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal,” Mr Johnson asserted.
“At this moment of national emergency, I urge you, please, to stay at home, protect the NHS (National Health Service) and save lives,” he added.
Stay-at-home and strict social distancing rules must be obeyed, warned Mr Johnson, who has himself contracted COVID-19.
“These rules must be observed. So, if people break the rules, the police will issue fines and disperse gatherings,” he added.
The number of deaths from the coronavirus in Britain has risen to more than 1,000 with over 17,000 infections.
Britain delayed imposing social-distancing measures on its population to stem the spread of coronavirus until last week.
On Friday, both Mr Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced they had tested positive for the virus.
Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, also has the virus.
Mr Johnson, 55, has said he has mild symptoms including temperature and a persistent cough.
He is self-isolating and working from home.