Coronavirus: UK restaurants, bars and pubs ordered to close
Lockdown measures will come into force across the UK from Friday evening
UK prime minister Boris Johnson has ordered restaurants, bars, cafés and pubs to close for the foreseeable future to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
From Friday evening onwards, establishments must close "as soon as they possibly can and not open tomorrow". Restaurants will be allowed to remain open only if they operate as takeaways.
The move comes after Mr Johnson was criticised for sending out mixed messages regarding social distancing measures. Since Monday, the government has urged people to stay away from pubs, but no decisive action was taken to close them until this evening.
Mr Johnson said, “I know it has been difficult ... but these actions we are taking together are helping to take the strain off the NHS.
“The speed of our eventual recovery depends entirely on our collective ability to get on top of the virus now and that means we have to take the next steps on scientific advice.
“And following our plan we are strengthening the measures announced on Monday. We need now to push down further on that curve of transmission between us.
“And so ... we are collectively telling cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not to open tomorrow.
“We're also telling nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres to close on the same timescale.”
He went on to make a plea to the public not to go out, saying, “Please don’t. You may think you are invincible, but there is no guarantee you will get mild symptoms, and you can still be a carrier of the disease and pass it on to others.”