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Boris Johnson announces closure of all UK pubs, cafes and restaurants

By Jonathan Powell in London | | Updated: 2020-03-21 01:35
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. [Photo/Agencies]

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the government is strengthening measures to counter the coronavirus outbreak by asking all cafes, pubs and restaurants to close from Friday night, except for take-away food.

"We are telling cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not reopen tomorrow," Johnson said.

Places such as nightclubs, cinemas and gyms will also follow suit and have been asked to close "as soon as they reasonably can".

Johnson said the situation will be reviewed each month, and said the measures had been agreed by all devolved governments of the United Kingdom.

The prime minister added: "The more effectively we follow the advice we are given, the faster this country will stage both a medical and an economic recovery in full."

At the same time, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the government will pay 80 percent of wages for employees who are not working, up to 2,500 pounds ($3,000) a month.

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted that the measures to shut pubs and other public spaces were "absolutely essential to do this given the excruciating pressure hospitals, especially in London, are under".

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