MPs have sent out video messages with the same stark message - pleading with the public to stay indoors.

Sir David Amess, James Duddridge, Mark Francois and Stephen Metcalfe, MPs for Southend West, Rochford and Southend East, Rayleigh and Wickford, and Basildon have urged the borough to follow the Prime Minister’s urgent advice for people to stay indoors to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In an address to the nation on Monday night, Boris Johnson said people must remain indoors, shops and playgrounds must shut and non-essential travel is prohibited.

People can now only go out for shopping for food and essentials, to provide care for vulnerable people, for medical needs, for one form of exercise a day and to travel to work if unable to work from home.

Mr Johnson said police will act to stop any gatherings larger than two by handing out fines.

The new measures were enforced after people were still going out in groups to busy tourist spots, such as Southend seafront, when government guidance advised them to practice social distancing.

James Duddridge

Sir David Amess

Mark Francois

Mr Johnson said people had been asked to stay at home during this pandemic: “And though huge numbers are complying – and I thank you all – the time has now come for us all to do more.

“From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.

“Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.

“That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes. That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home. You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say no. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.

“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”