İrem UZUN -TDO- Boris Johnson has told UK pubs, restaurants, bars and other social venues to close their doors starting from Friday evening in an effort to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. Addressing the nation from No. 10, the prime minister said he was implementing more stringent restrictions, and also ordered nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centers to shut on Friday.
Johnson said the situation will be reviewed each month. The announcement about closures follows similar measures taken in other countries - including in Ireland, where pubs and bars were asked to close from last Sunday. There have been 167 deaths in England from the coronavirus outbreak, as well as six in Scotland, three in Wales and one in Northern Ireland. Speaking at a daily Downing Street press briefing, Johnson said the measures would be enforced "strictly" and that licensing arrangements will make doing so "relatively simple". He urged people not to go out on Friday night, stressing: "For now, at least physically, we need to keep people apart."
Speaking alongside the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, also said the government will pay up to 80 per cent of wages for workers’ at risk of being laid off due to the covid-19 pandemic. He announced any employer will be able to apply to HMRC for payments of up to £2,500 per worker per month – just above the median income – with the scheme open for three months initially, with payments backdated to 1 March. The chancellor said his commitments were “unprecedented measures for unprecedented times” as he appealed to members of the public to support each other.