THE nationwide lockdown has left town centres deserted as South Lakes MP Tim Farron urges residents to ‘stay at home and save lives’.

The Westmorland Gazette:

This week the government introduced strict rules governing when and how often people can leave their homes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the raft of restrictions in a sombre public address on Monday night.

The Prime Minister ordered people only to leave their homes under a list of "very limited purposes", banned public gatherings of more than two people and ordered the closure of non-essential shops.

The Westmorland Gazette:

Everyone must comply with these new measures and police will be given powers to enforce them through fines.

Streets in Kendal, Ulverston and Dalton have been eerily quiet since the lockdown was announced.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron praised the "amazing NHS staff" tackling the outbreak.

“I strongly welcome the Prime Minister’s statement and the measures he outlined to try and keep us all safe," said Mr Farron.

“I will continue to push government to make sure that they provide as much clarity as humanly possible especially for those still unsure whether they should be travelling to work or not. But if we are to beat coronavirus, then it’s not just the Government that are having to step up to the plate - every single one of us needs to play our part too.

“Here in Cumbria, we’ve been through some horrendous hardships in recent times whether it was the heartbreak of Foot and Mouth or the devastation of Storm Desmond.

“But every time we’ve managed to come through the other side stronger and more united.

“These next few months are going to be tough – especially for our amazing NHS staff who are fighting day and night to keep us safe.

“But I’m determined that together we can make it through this.

“So let’s stay at home and save lives.”

Ulverston MP Simon Fell also backed the Government’s strict lockdown policy which restricts residents to only one outdoor exercise session a day, making journeys only for food shopping or for health reasons and banning gatherings of more than two people unless they are in the same household.

“This is absolutely the right move,” he said.

“Too many people treated last weekend like a bank holiday when the priority now must be stopping the spread and relieving the pressure on the NHS in order to save lives.

“You may feel fine but you might still be carrying this virus.

“And if we ignore this advice then Furness General will be overwhelmed and those who most need it won’t get the treatment they should. So look after your neighbours and stay at home.”

Most shops have closed apart from those allowed to remain open which includes supermarkets, newsagents, corner shops, health food shops and DIY stores.

Other businesses allowed to stay open include pet shops, supermarkets, petrol stations, launderettes, bicycle shops, car rentals, post offices and banks.

Work on the Beehive Retail and Employment site in Ulverston, where a Marks & Spencer foodhall is being built, is continuing as the government has confirmed construction can go ahead.

All restaurants and cafes must close eat-in areas but can still offer a delivery service, while pubs, hair salons, car showrooms, auction houses, caravan parks, libraries, playgrounds, community centres, churches, cinemas, bingo halls and swimming pools are also banned from opening.

You are not allowed to leave home other than for daily exercise, to buy basic necessities as infrequently as possible, or for health reasons, to donate blood, to travel to and from work where it is absolutely necessary and under-18s of separated parents can visit both homes. Weddings and christenings are banned although funerals can still go ahead.

The lockdown rules are set to last for at least three weeks but will be under constant review.