PEOPLE were given a clear message last night, by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, that they have to stay at home where possible to stop the spread of coronavirus.

It all added up to an appeal to the people of the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area to avoid social contact at all and only go out for moderate exercise and to acquire essential items.

In a BBC television broadcast, at 8.30pm, the two politicians spelled out the need to further tighten the grip as the virus continues strike down people and advised the public they should only go outside of the home for limited time.

Boris Johnson said: "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."

The UK's confirmed infection count shot up to 6,650 on Monday, an increase of almost 1,000, and the death toll hit 336.

The Prime Minister continued: "People must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, for exercise but only once a day, any medical need and travel to work, but only if essential.

"Shops selling non-essential goods will also be closed and gatherings in public of more than two people, who do not live together, are being prohibited.

"Funerals can still go ahead but weddings have been banned, as have baptisms and other ceremonies.

"Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed, with police being handed the power to step in and enforce the new measures".

Ms Sturgeon said that the moves were so necessary to halt the spread of coronavirus which was continuing to strike people down.

“I am not going to sugercoat it in any way,” she said.

“Coronavirus is the biggest challenge of our lifetime and the measures have not been done lightly”.

The First Minister added: “Stay at home that is the message I gave yesterday and I am reinforcing that message now.

"People should only go out for food, medicines and some exercise."

Shops like Stephen's the Bakers in Cowdenbeath, had already taken the decision to close as had local hairdressers and barbers.

Chief Constable of Scotland, Iain Livingstone, said: “We are fully behind the new measures announced by the UK and Scottish Governments to increase social distancing, and I urge and expect everyone to comply with them.

“We are aware of the proposed legislation in relation to coronavirus and are carefully considering the implications in this very fast moving situation, which presents the gravest of threats to the nation.

“In the meantime, Police Scotland has a clear, positive duty to both protect life and improve the safety and wellbeing of people across Scotland, while supporting the Government and health agencies in our fight against this pandemic.

“Therefore, until the new legislation is in place, we will be increasing police patrols to engage with and provide guidance to anyone in contravention of the measures.”