Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated that all bars and restaurants need to be closed “tonight, as soon as they reasonably can”.
In the Prime Minister’s daily coronavirus briefing, he stated: “We are telling cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not reopen tomorrow.”
This rule will also apply to theatres, gyms, cinemas and leisure centres, Johnson commented, adding: “We need now to push down further on that curve of transmission.”
However, Johnson explained that venues will be able to provide a ‘takeout service’ and that these new measures on closure will be reviewed from now on, on a monthly basis.
Johnson addressed the general public, saying: “We want you to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.”
Meanwhile, he insisted that the government are doing everything they possibly can to make sure businesses are protected during this difficult time. He said they would ‘stand’ by them.
In the press conference, Johnson responded to several questions. To answer one question, he said that the government was now implementing stricter measures to make sure that people are complying to advise which was issued earlier this week. In particular, this was a reference to the people who had not followed the advice which encouraged people to avoid social venues.
On TalkRadio, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said this morning: “If you stay at home, you are saving lives. I know, of course, this is a more dangerous disease for older people but not exclusively, some young people get it too.”
Mr Hancock said that people should still be able to go shopping for the essentials but that the measures would be used in extreme circumstances, where people are clearly defying the government’s advice.
He added: “In the emergency Bill that’s in front of Parliament right now, we are taking the powers to be able to enforce these measures, so we can make it happen by law if we need to.
“I’d rather not do that and the evidence so far is that the vast majority of people are following the advice, are doing what is sensible and right.”
Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that he hopes to ‘turn a tide’ of the coronavirus within 12 weeks.