UK government has ordered all pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants, gyms, leisure centres, cinemas and theatres throughout England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland to close from tonight.
Pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants throughout the UK “must close tonight,” the Prime Minister has ordered.
Boris Johnson told the venues to shut “as soon as they reasonably can” – and not open tomorrow, Mirror reports.
The PM said nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms, and leisure centres must close too.
He urged Brits not to attempt to go out for one last Friday night out, adding: “You may be tempted to go out tonight and I say to you please don’t, you may think that you are invincible – but there is no guarantee that you will get it.
“But you can still be a carrier of the disease and pass it on.”
He added: “We want you as far as possible to stay at home.”
The PM added that hospitality venues would be allowed to open to provide takeout services only.
He added that England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland had all agreed to the scaling up of the measures, in a dramatic UK-wide expansion of social distancing measures.
He announced the new measures in this evening’s daily Downing Street coronavirus press conference, acknowledged that most people had made a huge effort so far to comply with the government’s orders.
Mr Johnson said: “Following agreement between all the four nations of the UK, we are collectively telling – telling – cafes, bars, pubs restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not to open tomorrow.
“To be clear, they can continue to provide take-out services. We’re also telling nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres to close on the timescale.”
Mr Johnson said the Government would be continually assessing the situation around pubs and cafes and other requested closures “to see if we can relax any of these measures”.
Tonight’s announcement comes after days of leaks and rumours about a drastic escalation of the action in London.
“We’re going to defeat this disease with a huge national effort to slow the spread by reducing unnecessary social contact,” the PM said.
Earlier, Downing Street was forced to deny it would ban all travel in and out of London after misleading images, including of military personnel, spread on WhatsApp.
No10 have insisted the new measures are not a ‘lockdown’ but are pro-active measures to increase social distancing and flatten the coronavirus curve.
They have also insisted that travel into and out of the capital will “never” be banned as part of bids to tackle the virus.
No10 sources vowed London would never shut like Paris and Milan – and people would never be stopped from leaving their homes or told to present papers to police.