PM announces closure of pubs and restaurants

Eloise Hanson Eloise Hanson Uploaded 20 March 2020

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UK: In the latest of a regular daily briefing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced further measures to tackle coronavirus by ordering the closure of cafes, pubs, and restaurants from Friday 20 March.

All nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres have also been asked to close “as soon as they reasonably can, and not to reopen tomorrow.”

The Prime Minister said: “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.

Announced in the same press conference, Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed “unprecedented” measures to protect jobs with the launch of a coronavirus job retention scheme.

The scheme, backdated to the start of March, will cover 80 per cent of salaries up to £2,500 a month of those unable to work due to coronavirus shutdowns. 

Companies and organisations can apply for a grant from HMRC to cover the wages of its furloughed staff. 

Sunak said: "Today I can announce for the first time in our history the government is going to step in and pay people's wages,” adding that there will be “no limit” on the amount of funding available for the scheme.

The government will continually assess the situation on current closures “to see if we can relax any of these measures.”

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