14:24 GMT31 October 2020
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    The United Kingdom has joined the growing list of countries to implement a lockdown as part of the battle against COVID-19. Most schools, businesses and public buildings are closed, gatherings of more than two people are prohibited and the majority of the population have been instructed to stay at home.

    On the evening of 24 March 2020 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared the UK to be on "lockdown" as part of the battle against COVID-19. 

    ​​Since then there has been an explosion in tweets with #Lockdown, #LockdownNow and #LockdownUK hashtags.

    Everyone has been told that they must stay at home, only leaving for one of four reasons:

    Key workers can still use public transport and their children can still attend school:

    ​The government has also co-opted the telecoms companies in order to issue everyone lockdown related text messages:

    ​Some felt the lockdown should have come sooner:

    Others saw parallels with the British political satire In The Thick of It:

    ​Meanwhile comedic video mashups of the UK government's stay at home guidance are already being posted:

    ​There are the predictable jokes, perhaps masking genuine concerns, over potential police harassment whilst enforcing the one excercise per day rule:

    ​There are the inevitable satirical references to police overkill targeting those who leave their homes for the shops:

    ​Some people will clearly try it on:

    ​And there are also those expressing their frustration and surprise that many construction workers are still expected to go to work:

    ​As the days turn to weeks it is expected that social media will be awash with tragic, comedic, and banal posts as men, women and children seek to cope with the unprecedented reality of a global pandemic induced lockdown.

    According to the UK Department of Health and Public Health England as of 9am on 23 March 2020, 83,945 people have been tested for COVID-19, 77,295 of which were confirmed negative and 6,650 were confirmed positive.

    Total UK COVID-19 Cases Update as of 23 March 2020
    Total UK COVID-19 Cases Update as of 23 March 2020

    As of 1pm on the same day 335 patients who tested positive in the UK for COVID-19 have died.


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