United Kingdom shuts down social life as coronavirus spreads

17 Mars, 2020, 14:39 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • United Kingdom shuts down social life as coronavirus spreads

United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson has warned the British public avoid pubs, clubs and social venues in a bid to mitigate the impact of coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases escalates.

Johnson had faced a backlash after his government took a less stringent approach to tackling the virus than countries such as Italy, France and Spain which have effectively locked down much of Europe.

The second advises an end to close social contact to protect people aged 70 and over, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions.

"We need people to start working from home where they possibly can and you should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues goes without saying".

However, he stopped short of forcing venues to close, leaving some in the affected industries in limbo.

Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre chief executive Julian Bird said: "Closing venues is not a decision that is taken lightly, and we know that this will have a severe impact on numerous 290,000 individuals working in our industry".

He said this was particularly important in London as it appears to be "a few weeks ahead" of the rest of the country. The failure to order the closure of many hospitality venues means that the costs can not be claimed on insurance.

UKHospitality, which represents pubs, coffee shops, nightclubs and other leisure venues, said the government's announcement would be "catastrophic for businesses and jobs".

The Society of London Theatre, which represents the West End, said theatres would close from Monday night until further notice.

Health minister Matt Hancock told parliament that non-time sensitive, elective surgery would be cancelled or postponed.

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Sterling fell to its lowest against the USA dollar since October while Johnson was speaking, down two thirds of a cent on the day.

Johnson also said the government would no longer give emergency-services support to large gatherings, though he did not ban them outright.

"This is unlike 2008, there isn't a systemic problem within the economy", Johnson said. "If we can get the disease under control. then there is absolutely no reason why economies worldwide should not come roaring back".

"While there is no longer a need to identify every case through community testing, we will still need to and will be able to report on Novel Coronavirus level in Wales".

But after the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday emphasized the importance of tests, Johnson and the medical experts insisted they were still doing this. The UK death toll rose to 55.

The PM said this will probably be escalated further by the weekend, with those with health conditions set to be shielded from social contact for 12 weeks.

But when he was asked whether he'd go to the pub, Stanley said: 'Yes of course I'll go to the pub if I need to go to a pub'.

Another person tweeted: "I think this is asking a generation who are used to everything being done for them, so they will always want more done for them". And unlike schools in most other European countries, those in Britain remain open.

Alongside Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, the Prime Minister laid out new guidelines that seemed to have ramped up quite drastically from the previous information we were given.

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