Two years ago today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the nation to stay at home.

It was beginning of two years none of us will ever forget.

On this day in 2020, ahead of the Prime Minister's announcement that evening, this is what was happening in Dorset.

The first death from coronavirus in Dorset

A 72-year-old woman who had tested positive for Covid-19 and was being cared for at Dorset County Hospital was the first person in Dorset to die with the virus.

At the time,a Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: "Sadly, we can confirm that a woman who had been cared for at Dorset County Hospital and died at the hospital on March, 21, 2020 had tested positive for COVID-19.

"The patient was 72 and had underlying health conditions."

On this day, there were 23 cases of Covid in the county.

Horror at crowds on the beach

The then-BCP Council leader, Cllr Vikki Slade warned people to “stay at home” amid fears residents may be enforced to stay inside on a lockdown if they continued to visit the beach.

Her warning came after large groups were seen gathering on beaches across Dorset over the weekend before lockdown.

While Southbourne and Boscombe beaches were filled with walkers, Lulworth Cove saw friends gathering to drink takeaway pints.

Bournemouth Echo: People on beach in Bournemouth before lockdown one in 2020People on beach in Bournemouth before lockdown one in 2020

Food festivals cancelled

Both Christchurch and Highcliffe food festivals were cancelled on this day. Christchurch was moved to August and Highcliffe to September.

At the time, organisers said: “From the Festival’s perspective, regardless of whether by then the government has ordered a ban on large gatherings (which in our view seems very likely), our feeling is that this would be a catastrophic time period to be trying to deliver a large scale public event, particularly with regard to the health of visitors, traders and our staff."

Rockfish in Poole closed 'temporarily'

The £1.5million Rockfish restaurant and takeaway, announced its temporary closure.

Owner Mitch Tonks, who only celebrated the official opening of the Poole restaurant a month before, said it was a "tough but necessary decision" to temporarily close all of his Rockfish restaurants.

He said: "This decision has taken a lot of detailed planning and naturally we expect some difficult decisions to be ongoing, especially around our people. I have explained to them how important everyone is to the combined Seahorse and Rockfish family and we will do all we can to support and guide them through this unprecedented period."

Reduced train service

South Western Railway (SWR) reduced the number of services.

It came after after the government urged people to avoid all but essential travel in order to help limit the spread of the virus.

Morebus also announced there would be a reduced service like their Sunday timetable.

Market still goes ahead

The weekly Monday market in Christchurch went ahead as normal with residents taking the opportunity to stock up on grocery essentials.

While further calls were made by the government and council leaders to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, scores of residents visited the town centre where they were greeted by a selection of established traders.

The majority of traders were offering products like fruit and vegetables and meat.

Bournemouth Echo: Monday market during CovidMonday market during Covid

Moors Valley closed indefinitely

The decision was announced on Twitter and a spokesman said: "In line with government guidance to help support the management of the coronavirus the decision has been made to indefinitely close the car park at Moors Valley alongside all remaining facilities."

The announcement came after a huge public backlash against large gatherings of people in public open spaces over the previous weekend.

Bournemouth Echo: Moors ValleyMoors Valley

School boss warning over pupil space 'rationing'

Parents were warned places for children of key workers could be rationed if they didn't find somewhere else for them to go.

The chief executive of the Castleman Acadmey Trust, which runs Broadstone First and Middle schools, warned of prioritising and rationing of spaces.

Read more: School spaces 'could be rationed' for children of key workers

AFC Bournemouth support

Cherries reached out to its vulnerable and socially isolated supporters offering a service to call fans on their database.

Premier League football had been suspended until at least April 30 and the club's staff offered to engage with those 'at risk' supporters about a range of topics including their love of the club and favourite Cherries memories, while they also planned to complete a weekly Cherries quiz.

Sandbanks Ferry announces new measures

Foot passengers and those riding bicycles and motorbikes were banned from the Sandbanks Ferry.

The Sandbanks Ferry Company, which runs the chain ferry service between Studland and Poole, announced the temporary measure, saying that until further notice, the ferry would only carry cars, buses, goods vehicles and emergency vehicles.

What did Boris Johnson say on March 23, 2020?

Here's what Boris Johnson told us in his statement that evening:

The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades – and this country is not alone.

All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this invisible killer.

And so tonight I want to update you on the latest steps we are taking to fight the disease and what you can do to help.

And I want to begin by reminding you why the UK has been taking the approach that we have.

Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses.

And as we have seen elsewhere, in other countries that also have fantastic health care systems, that is the moment of real danger.

To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it - meaning more people are likely to die, not just from Coronavirus but from other illnesses as well.

So it’s vital to slow the spread of the disease.

Because that is the way we reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment at any one time, so we can protect the NHS’s ability to cope - and save more lives.

And that’s why we have been asking people to stay at home during this pandemic.

And though huge numbers are complying - and I thank you all - the time has now come for us all to do more.

From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction - you must stay at home.