- Video report by ITV News Meridian's Chlöe Oliver
In one of the most extreme clampdowns ever announced by a British government, the South, South East and Thames Valley begin life with unprecedented social distancing measures.
Boris Johnson has put the UK on a three-week lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Under the new measures announced by the Government, people will only be allowed out of their homes for:
- shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
- one form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
Chanice Cushion is a NHS worker in our region and is urging people to adhere to the government's strict social guidelines in order to save lives in an emotional online post. She's decided to move out of her family home to protect her family while she carries on working on the NHS front line.
Meanwhile on the roads, this was the M27 in Hampshire at rush hour, while many railway stations saw empty platforms.
Public gatherings of more than two people are banned and non-essential shops are closed.
As part of the new measures, police now have powers to break up public gatherings and fine anyone ignoring coronavirus lockdown rules.
However, questions remain as to how officers will monitor whether people are breaking the rules, what action will then be taken, and how much the fines will be.
High streets across the region also appear quiet, as stores which are not selling essential items are forced to close.
These silent scenes are likely to become the norm as the country faces at least 20 more days under strict social guidelines.