Coronavirus: Leisure centres, cafes, bars, clubs and pubs to close tonight

20 March 2020, 17:35 | Updated: 20 March 2020, 17:52

The UK has been placed in to lockdown with new measures to protect the public from coronavirus
The UK has been placed in to lockdown with new measures to protect the public from coronavirus. Picture: Getty
Emma Gritt

By Emma Gritt

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the extreme changes in a press conference this afternoon.

Pubs, restaurants, cinemas and leisure centres across the UK will close indefinitely from TONIGHT.

The extreme measures are the latest steps taken by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a bid to tackle the ongoing coronavirus crisis that has gripped Britain.

Today in a press conference he said: "We are strengthening the efforts announced on Monday.

"We need to push down further on that curve of transmission between us.

Click here for the NHS' latest advice about coronavirus

"We are collectively telling cafes, clubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight and not to reopen until tomorrow. They can continue to offer take out services. We are asking gyms and leisure centres to do the same."

He added that the closures are part of an ongoing approach to tackling the killer virus, which has already killed over 140 Brits in just over a week.

Older people are more at risk from coronavirus
Older people are more at risk from coronavirus. Picture: Getty

The PM said: "We will review the situation each month to see if we can relax any of these measures."

And ahead of Mother's Day, he advised people not to visit their mums if they were in an at risk group - old or with a pre-existing health condition.

He said: "People should think carefully about seeing any elderly person who may be in a vulnerable group, think very carefully about the risk of transmission of the virus and follow the advice.

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"Our advice is that elderly people, people with serious underlying health conditions, latter stages of pregnancy, you have to be careful about the transition of the virus and follow the government advice."

Boris' extreme measures will send shockwaves through communities across the UK, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced new plans to make sure that millions of Brits who work in affected industries aren't plunged in to poverty.

He said: "Getting through this will include a collective national effort.

"We must protect people's jobs. We are now closing shops, restaurants, bars. These steps are necessary to save people's lives.

Read more: Mum uses glitter to teach kids about hand washing

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson are hosting daily press conference
Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson are hosting daily press conference. Picture: Getty

"We know these measures will have a significant economic impact. For the first time in this country's history the government is stepping in to help pay people's wages."

He explained a new initiative, the Coronavirus Retention Scheme, which will see the Government cough up up to 80 per cent of individuals' salaries up to £2,500 a month rather than make them redundant.

Rishi said: "We have never had a scheme like this in our country before. HMRC are working night and day to get this up and running."