LONDON: WWII veterans in the UK are urging young Britons to stay at home during the coronavirus crisis.
A video message on the Facebook page of Liberation 75 featuring Harry Fenn, 95, has been picked up by national television programs and newspapers.
Fenn from the Bailiwick of Jersey, who was just 19 when he landed on Normandy beaches in the Allies’ D-Day operations, urged young people to sit on their sofas to save lives.
“In 1944, I served my country and did my duty. Now it’s your duty to sit on the couch. Please save lives, it’s as simple as that,” he said.
Meanwhile, the family of 98-year-old veteran Jack Bowden, who was involved with producing penicillin at the Royal Navy Medical School during the war, called on Britons to heed government advice after the UK’s death toll jumped to 422 on Tuesday.
Bowden is believed to be the oldest person in the UK to contract the virus and recover, having tested positive for COVID-19 last week, but his family have still urged people to protect others and save lives by staying at home.
Boris Johnson issued directives on Monday ordering people in the UK to remain indoors wherever possible and to only go out for shopping and medical supplies or for short spells of exercise.
He warned police would have the power to intervene if people were found gathering in groups of three or more unnecessarily.
Key workers, including healthcare workers, teachers and those working for supermarkets, are allowed to travel to work but everybody else must work remotely, Johnson said.