Police have warned about “clear misinformation” after a fake statement claimed London would be sprayed with disinfectant and chemicals.
In a tweet on Monday, Metropolitan Police flagged up a message which it said was being circulated on WhatsApp with a number of false claims.
The image, designed to imitate a legitimate police announcement, claimed the government was activating a “Code Red lockdown” – which does not exist.
“We insist you stay at your residence and only leave the premises for vital emergencies,” the message warns.
It falsely claims people could face four weeks’ imprisonment if stopped by the police in breach of social distancing rules.
One of the more ridiculous suggestions is that police will be “spraying the city of London with disinfectant and chemicals to help reduce the spread” of the coronavirus – which will “take a total of 30 minutes to finish”.
It also lists a fake government web link featuring offensive words.
For anyone in any doubt over the message’s dubious claims, police in Barnet in north London, tweeted: “We are aware that the attached has been circulating on WhatsApp groups and social media.
“This is clear misinformation and NOT a genuine Metropolitan Police Service statement.”
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