Matthew McConaughey pleads with fans to stay indoors during coronavirus outbreak

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey has urged people to stay indoors during “these rough and tumble times”.

The Oscar-winning star shared a video to Instagram, telling fans that isolating is “not only the best defence against this virus, it’s the best offence”.

He said: “If you stay at home you’re not being passive, you’re not being cowardly, you’re actually being brave, courageous, you’re playing offence.

“Staying at home is our greatest weapon to beat this enemy that we’re against right now.”

Addressing fans in his distinctive Texan drawl, the 50-year-old father of three said he is staying inside to take care of his family, and “in doing so I’ll be taking care of your own”.

He added: “Now more than ever, the more each of us stay at home today the sooner the world we all live in is going to become our home again tomorrow.”

McConaughey, star of films including The Lincoln Lawyer, Killer Joe and Dallas Buyers Club, opened the message saying people around the world should be proud with their response to the coronavirus epidemic, which has upended day-to-day life.

“So many people in the towns, the cities, the states, the countries, all over have shown great resilience, vigilance, courage and compassion and that’s worth applauding,” McConaughey said.

However, he warned the number of infections is about to “spike” due to a combination of wider testing and the virus’s continued spread.

The actor said people should not panic and instead do what they can to help those fighting the virus.

He said: “Remember now more than ever we are more dependent on each other than ever before. The paradox is at the same time we’re so dependent on each other we have to be more self-reliant and more autonomous than ever before.

“Right now time is king. We’ve got to buy more of it, we’ve got to buy more time for the people on the front lines trying to contain this virus, we’ve got to buy more time for the scientists who are going to find us a vaccine for the virus.”

He signed off the message with a smile and said: “Just keep livin’.”

McConaughey is not the only star to issue a fresh appeal for people to stay indoors to halt the spread of coronavirus.

British actor Hugh Laurie referenced one of his most famous characters – the brilliant but misanthropic Dr Gregory House – and said maintaining social distance is essential.

He tweeted: “I can’t speak for House, obviously – no one’s written clever words for me to say – but I’m pretty sure he’d tell you it’s not a matter of ‘solving’ Covid. This is an epidemic, not a diagnostic problem. We solve it together by staying apart.”

Model Kendall Jenner also advised fans to stay apart.

She said: “Of course i’m staying home!! taking this quarantine v seriously… but also not a bad idea to get some fresh air as long as you keep a safe distance from others and follow all guidelines 🙂 everyone stay healthy.”

And singer Britney Spears posted a short video message.

She said: “During this time of quarantine, I hope you are all being strong and lifting each other up. My prayers with you.”

The coronavirus pandemic continues to profoundly alter day-to-day life in the UK.

The Government has launched a recruitment drive for 250,000 volunteers in good health to help vulnerable people, while the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, announced that an exhibition centre in London will be converted into a new NHS hospital.