UK moves closer to full coronavirus lockdown as Boris Johnson orders cafes, pubs, cinemas and restaurants to shut
Boris Johnson has ordered all cafes, pubs, cinemas, restaurants and theatres to close their doors as the UK moves closer to a full coronavirus lockdown.
Gyms and leisure centres must also close their doors indefinitely under the move, which brings the UK into line with the rest of Europe.
The Prime Minister said the strict measures - which will apply across the UK - are necessary to "get on top of the virus" before it overwhelms the NHS.
Earlier this week, Mr Johnson had urged Brits to keep away from those establishments to slow down the spread of the illness - but his warnings were ignored by large numbers of people.
Speaking at his latest Downing Street press conference, the PM said it was now time to go further as the number of people dying from the disease continues to soar.
He said: "I must be absolutely clear with you: The speed of our eventual recovery depends entirely on our ability, 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.
"And already people have made a huge effort to comply with those measures for avoiding unnecessary social contact. But we need now to push down further on that curve of transmission between us.
"And so... all the four nations of the United Kingdom, 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, though to be clear - they can continue to provide take-out services.
"We’re also telling nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres to close on the same timescale."
Mr Johnson said the Government would "review the situation" every month, but with the peak of the outbreak still weeks away, the new regime is likely to be in place until the summer at least.
He added: "Listening to what I have just said, some people may of course be tempted to go out tonight and I say to you: Please don't. You may think that you’re invincible but there is no guarantee that you will get mild symptoms.
"And you can still be a carrier of the disease and pass it on to others. So that’s why as far as possible we want you to stay at home, that’s how we can protect our NHS and save lives."