The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has told the public that they "must stay at home", starting from tonight.
In a ministerial statement from Downing Street, he said that the virus was the biggest threat the country had faced "for decades", and announced a number of measures that the police would be able to enforce following emergency legislation passed recently in the commons.
These included serious limits on people's movements, including allowing them outside only to travel to work where absolutely necessary, to the shops to buy essentials and once a day to leave the house for exercise.
The PM also said that the government would be "dispersing" gatherings of more than two people in public.
This lockdown, which reflects the kind that has been imposed on other European countries, including France and Italy, comes as the total number of confirmed cases worldwide passes 350,000. Nearly 15,000 people have died.
Many believe a tougher lockdown will help ease pressure on the NHS, after evidence that it has lowered the number of deaths in Italy for two days running, now the worst-hit country in the world in terms of total deaths from the virus.
Mr Johnson said there was a "clear way through" and that the country would "rise to [the] challenge". He thanked the people working "flat out" to beat the virus and said that the UK would emerge "stronger than ever" after beating an "invisible killer".
The next Leaders Council update will follow tomorrow morning.