UK general public to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres

Eloise Hanson Eloise Hanson Uploaded 16 March 2020

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UK: The prime minister Boris Johnson has announced new measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, advising that everyone in the UK should avoid all non-essential contact and all non-essential travel.

In the first of a series of daily briefings, Johnson said “drastic action” was needed as the UK approaches “the fast growth part of the upward curve” in the number of cases.

It has been advised that people should work from home wherever possible, with additional measures likely to be introduced to help cover workers whose wages have dipped dramatically.

Those living in London have been urged to heed the advice and avoid restaurants and pubs, including other venues of social gatherings, immediately.

At present, the closure of such venues is not mandatory. Johnson said: "As for enforcement, we have the powers if necessary but I do not believe it will be necessary to use those powers."

The prime minister added: "This is going to be a very considerable challenge for businesses big and small and we are going to make sure we do everything we can to give them the liquidity they need, make sure they have time to pay and make sure whole fiscal policy - tax and spend system - gives businesses the space in which they can come back from this."

The number of people visiting hospitality venues in the UK deteriorated over the weekend. According to analysis by Wireless Social, footfall across 800 national venues dropped 44 per cent on Sunday, and 37 per cent on Saturday. 

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said that the decision to avoid hospitality and leisure businesses is "catastrophic" and will lead to "thousands of businesses closing their doors for good, and hundreds of thousands of job losses."

"We need immediate and far-reaching support from the government, and meaningful business continuity measures." 

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