British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has effectively shut down the UK, imposing even tougher lockdown measures in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus.
But the Government has also announced it will cover the majority of workers’ salaries in a bid to stop businesses laying off staff.
The UK has recorded almost 4,000 cases of coronavirus with 167 deaths.
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“We are telling cafes, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not to open tomorrow,” Mr Johnson said.
“We’re also telling nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres to close on the same timescale.
“The sad thing is today, for now, at least physically, we need to keep people apart.”
Restaurants and cafes have been told they can still provide takeaway services.
Mr Johnson has already ordered the closure of schools.
“I do accept that what we’re doing is extraordinary. We’re taking away the ancient, inalienable right of free-born people of the United Kingdom to go to the pub, and I can understand how people feel about that,” Mr Johnson said.
“It’s heartbreaking to think of the businesses that will face difficulties as a result of the measures this country has had to take.”
The British Government has also announced grants to businesses if they keep staff on.
The government will cover 80 per cent of a workers’ salary for as long as they are employed.
“Today I can announce that for the first time in our history the government is going to step in and pay people’s wages,” Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said.
“The economic intervention that I am announcing today is unprecedented in the history of the British state.”
The government will also pump an extra $14 billion into the welfare system.