UK Government Sends SMS Text to All – “Stay at Home”

After Monday night’s historic announcement that the UK Lockdown is to begin, this morning (24 March 2020) the UK Government sent a nationwide SMS text message to all, with a simple message:

GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT

New rules in force now: you must stay at home. More info & exemptions at gov.uk/coronavirus Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.

UK Government SMS text message

All UK citizens, except those who are exempt, must now stay at home, to prevent the spread of Covid-19, except to collect essential shopping, or to exercise, alone, once per day. Exemptions do exist. See the full details here.

It is not clear exactly how many people will receive this SMS text message, though, as the UK Government according to The Guardian ignored advice and did not setup an emergency alert system in the country.

In an unprecedented move, mobile networks have agreed to relay messages on behalf of UK Government, according to this BBC article. The message above captured, was sent via the EE network.

In addition, it is likely the Gov has data on mobile telephone numbers from it’s many departments.

It remains to be seen how widely this message can be distributed. However, the text message was likely necessary, as The Telegraph reported London transpooort to be “packed” on day 1 of the lockdown.

Are you in Britain? Did you get the message? Has it missed you completely? Leave a public, moderated comment, below.

Stay home and save lives.

In This Story: Covid-19

Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
  • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
  • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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