As coronavirus cases continue to spread rapidly, health officials and leaders around the world are appealing to citizens to stay inside their homes and maintain social distancing.
Outraged people on social media have been sharing images of busy streets and tourist spots, and branding those ignoring the rules as “covidiots.” Vacationers have been flooding to remote communities, raising fears that small hospitals could very quickly reach capacity.
Italy: The coronavirus outbreak in Italy is the deadliest in the world, and officials are taking to social media or scolding people who are going outside despite orders to stay in.
“Go home, this is not a film on TV, this is a national emergency!,” Antonio Decaro, Mayor of Bari, stressed to his residents last week. “Go home, you can’t play ping pong, go to your Playstations,” he said.
More than 80,000 people have been reported in Italy because they did not comply with the coronavirus emergency restrictions.
Canada: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a message for Canadians who choose to ignore social distancing advice: “Enough is enough. Go home and stay home.”
“If you choose to ignore that advice, if you choose to get together with people or go to crowded places, you are not just putting yourself at risk, you are putting others at risk too,” he said.
UK: Prime Minister Boris Johnson ramped up his country’s response and essentially sent it into lockdown after a weekend where many people flocked to parks, beaches and rural areas.
“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,” he said.
Johnson added police would enforce the rules by breaking up public gatherings and issuing fines.
US: California Gov. Gavin Newsom said: “This is a moment where we need some straight talk,” he told reporters. “As individuals and as a community, we need to do more to meet this moment.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “This weekend we saw too many people packing beaches, trails and parks.” He said people should heed the closures and stay home. “That doesn’t mean gather elsewhere. This is serious. Stay home and save lives.”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said, “I am disappointed to see photos and videos on social media of boats close together and large groups of people congregating.”
“We are in a state of emergency, and I cannot stress enough the need for personal responsibility.”