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Coronavirus Britain: Boris Johnson tells pubs, cafes and restaurants to close

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Boris Johnson has said the economy should come ‘roaring back’ after the Covid-19 outbreak (PA)

Boris Johnson has said the economy should come ‘roaring back’ after the Covid-19 outbreak (PA)

Boris Johnson has said the economy should come ‘roaring back’ after the Covid-19 outbreak (PA)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told cafes, pubs and restaurants across the country to close on Friday night and to stay shut indefinitely to help slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

"We are telling cafes, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not to open tomorrow," Johnson told reporters in Downing Street. "Though to be clear, they can continue to provide takeout services.

"Some people may of course be tempted to go out tonight, and I say to those people, 'please don't,'" Johnson said.

The British government has also vowed to pay businesses hit by the coronavirus outbreak not to lay off workers, as part of what finance minister Rishi Sunak said would be an unprecedented economic intervention.

"Today I can announce that for the first time in our history the government is going to step in and pay people's wages," Sunak said at a news conference, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the closure of pubs and eat-in restaurants.

Sunak said the government would give grants to cover 80 per cent of a worker's salary if businesses kept them on staff.

"The economic intervention that I am announcing today is unprecedented in the history of the British state," he said.

More to follow...

Reuters


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