Boris Johnson said the government is strengthening the measures announced on Monday – avoiding unnecessary social contact.
Following agreement of all the four nations of the UK, Johnson said all cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants must close tonight.
Night clubs, theatres, gyms, cinemas and leisure centres must also close on the same timescale.
The Chancellor said he will support companies to help pay staff’s wages who have been told they have no work.
‘I know it has been difficult … but these actions we are taking together are helping to take the strain off the NHS,’ he said.
‘The speed of our eventual recovery depends entirely on our collective ability to get on top of the virus now and that means we have to take the next steps on scientific advice.
‘And following our plan we are strengthening the measures announced on Monday. We need now to push down further on that curve of transmission between us.
‘And so following agreement with all the … devolved administrations, we are collectively telling cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not to open tomorrow.
‘We’re also telling nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres to close on the same timescale.’
Restaurants will be allowed to operate as take-aways, he added.
Boris Johnson said the government would be continually assessing the situation around pubs and cafes and other requested closures “to see if we can relax any of these measures”.
You may be tempted to go out tonight and I say to you please don’t, you may think that you are invincible – but there is no guarantee that you will get it.
But you can still be a carrier of the disease and pass it on.
We want you as far as possible to stay at home.
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