UK on lockdown following PM’s speech

Miles Hurley Miles Hurley Uploaded 24 March 2020

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UK: In a speech to the public yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tight lockdown measures will go into effect across the county.

Guidelines announce an adoption of a shelter in place policy, a limitation of gatherings of more than two, and a restriction of time outdoors to essential shopping and one period of exercise.

This is the latest in the UK’s attempt to fight the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. The Prime Minister announced last week a closing of all non-essential hospitality businesses, primarily cafes, pubs and restaurants.

New measures have mandated non-essential shops shut without plans to reopen, and gatherings in public will be prohibited. Leaders across the country, from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to the Archbishop of Canterbury have all echoed the PM’s urgency

Johnson said: “If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

Hospitality has felt the pain over the past few days, with businesses cutting costs and preparing for a long wait.

Marriott announced a major series of furloughs over the past few days and IHG committed to cutting costs. Smaller hotels as well reacted to the news of closures on Friday by shutting their doors.

The industry is staying hopeful going forward, with many ancilliary providers, like Cloudbeds, providing support to other businesses. Standard International hotel group has pulled together to create a support fund for its staff. 

The PM has promised to revisit the measures in three weeks, but no timeline is set for when lockdown will be removed. 

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