Don’t visit your parents on Mother’s Day, Boris Johnson tells Britons, as NHS nears Italy-style breaking point

A TfL worker closes the gates at Barbican Underground station on March 19, 2020 as public transport services in London are reduced in an effort to delay the spread of the novel coronavirus.
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02:36 - Source: CNN
London CNN  — 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people in the UK not to visit their parents on Sunday, warning that Britain’s health care system risks becoming overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic in the coming weeks.

Sunday is Mother’s Day in the UK, but with cases soaring in the country and the situation in the UK just “two or three” weeks behind Italy’s, Johnson has insisted people stay home.

“I am afraid that this Mothering Sunday the single best present that we can give – we who owe our mothers so much – is to spare them the risk of catching a very dangerous disease,” Johnson wrote on Saturday evening.

“The sad news is that means staying away. This time the best thing is to ring her, video call her, Skype her, but to avoid any unnecessary physical contact or proximity,” he added. “Because if your mother is elderly or vulnerable, then I am afraid all the statistics show that she is much more likely to die from Coronavirus, or Covid-19. We cannot disguise or sugar coat the threat.”

The Prime Minister had previously said this week that he had been hoping to see his own mother this Sunday.

But he ordered pubs and restaurants in the UK to shut on Friday evening and has instructed Britons to practice social distancing, though he has so far resisted the total lockdowns seen in European countries such as Italy and Spain.