All UK restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs to close tonight
In this evening's conference, the Prime Minister announced the news.
The Prime Minister has just announced that all restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs will be forced to close their doors tonight, and cannot open until permitted. The decision was long awaited by many, and is undoubtedly a key step in slowing the spread of Coronavirus Covid-19.
Most hospitality businesses have remained open until this point; they simply cannot afford to shut their doors for an extended period. More concerning are the people flying in the face of government advice and heading out into the world as normal. The government has realised that it is unable to deter these people through persuasion alone, and has taken the choice of whether to stay in or go out out of individuals' hands.
Of course, people can still meet in their homes, and this was a point raised to the Prime Minister during the conference. There is nothing stopping people drinking, eating and even partying together in large groups in their own homes, apart from their sense of social responsibility. Let's hope everyone makes the right choices in the coming days and weeks and reduces the damage of Covid-19.
To support the now closed businesses and, crucially, their employees, the government has extended its financial support offerings. They are offering to pay 80% of workers' wages, ensuring thereby that staff are not laid off, and can continue to stay on the payroll and afford the all important essentials like rent, bills and groceries.