It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put Britain on lockdown on Monday evening as he outlined strict new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, ordering people to only leave the house for a few specific reasons.
The UK's network operators have sent out nationwide lockdown alerts on behalf of the government, but it could have done so itself had it not ignored its own findings on emergency messaging systems. All non-essential shops including clothing stores, libraries and electronic shops have been ordered to close. New rules in force now: you must stay at home.More news: Coronavirus: Is lost sense of smell, taste an early symptom?
Mobile operators have already zero-rated access to NHS Online information and are in talks with the government about providing access to anonymised location data.
But now the government is to reinforce the instructions from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in a message to everyone's mobile phones.
The NHS has already sent messages to the most vulnerable people in the United Kingdom to urge them to stay inside for 12 weeks - up to 1.5 million people received those messages. "Protect the NHS. Save lives". The author of this article has not yet received the message, but it is expected to arrive on most people's phones later in the day.More news: Asian shares jump after Dow's biggest gain since '33
The messages are being sent by the mobile operators rather than the government as the United Kingdom does not have a national emergency alert system. Despite testing an emergency warning system at the beginning of the decade, the system has never been implemented.
The second alert was a SMS message sent to affected citizens. This contrasts with other countries, like South Korea, which have used alerts to issue advice and warnings throughout the crisis.
Although the government announced a large support package for businesses and individuals to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, it has struggled to get clear messages out to the public, often competing with misinformation on social media sites.More news: Redmi Note 9S with 5000mAh Battery, 48MP Quad Camera Setup Launched
I haven't received the text myself (I'm with Optus), but others on Twitter have and apparently it's coming from Telstra instead of a government agency.