THE Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it is 'absolutely crucial to follow the social distancing advice and measures issued by government' in relation to the coronavirus outbreak.

In his daily briefing at Downing Street, Mr Johnson told the country he still wants them to be able to visit parks and open spaces as it is 'crucial for health, physical and mental well-being'.

He said: "But please follow that advice and don't think that fresh air in itself automatically provides some immunity. People should still stay two metres apart.

"It is very important for people's mental and physical wellbeing that they should be able to get out and exercise. That is why parks and open spaces are absolutely crucial."

He said despite this, people must follow social distancing advice otherwise 'there is no doubt' that the government will bring forward further measures.

The PM also outlined the shielding measures in place to protect around 1.5 million vulnerable people, and said the measures will do more than many other measures to reduce the number of coronavirus cases in the UK.

However, he urged people to continue doing their bit to provide the NHS with more time to deal with serious cases, by staying at home.

He said: "Stay at home. The more we comply, the faster we will beat it and the faster we will get through it."

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the sacrifices made by the public are going to be massive but they owe it to the most vulnerable to stay at home to help the NHS to save lives.

The new shielding measures will involve up to 1.5 million people who are most at risk of being hospitalised by the coronavirus staying at home for at least 12 weeks.

These include people with specific cancers, transplants and with other underlying health conditions

Anyone living with these vulnerable people who are not experiencing symptoms do not have to abide by the 12 week isolation period.

Mr Jenrick said: "If you are one of these people I want to reassure you, you are not alone."

He said carers could continue to visit the vulnerable but must abide by Public Health England guidelines.

And for those without a care network close by, a major national effort to create a support system is underway, including a network of local hubs to deliver medicines by pharmacists to the most vulnerable and lonely people.

Groceries would be delivered by councils working with supermarkets, with 'parcels left on the doorstep'.

Mr Jenrick said the UK's military planners will be involved in supporting the shielding measures - and everyone would have the opportunity to volunteer in the coming weeks.

He said: "Display small acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, love and compassion, pick up the phone to your loved ones.

"More people will be required to stay at home, but let's guarantee they will never be alone and pray we will emerge as better neighbours to each other, stronger communities and be proud of the part we played in this effort."