UK orders all pubs, restaurants and gyms to close

UK orders all pubs, restaurants and gyms to close
© Getty Images

The United Kingdom on Friday ordered all pubs, restaurants, gyms and other public gathering places to shut down as the country grapples with the coronavirus outbreak. 

“Following agreement between all the formations of the United Kingdom, all the involved 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 takeout services,” U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a press conference Friday.

“We’re also telling nightclubs, theaters, cinemas, gyms and ledger centers to close on the same time scale. Now these are places where people come together, and indeed the whole purpose of these businesses is to bring people together. But the sad thing is I’m afraid today, for now, at least physically, we need to keep people apart.”

Johnson added that these guidelines would be revisited every month moving forward to assess whether the closures remain necessary. 


Speaking Friday evening, Johnson urged people to refrain from going out, warning that even if people do not feel symptoms they can still be infected with and spread the coronavirus.

“Listening to what I just said, some people may of course be tempted to go out tonight. And I say to you, please don’t,” Johnson said. “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.”

The U.K. has had 3,269 confirmed coronavirus cases since the outbreak began, and 167 people in the country have died.

The drastic move follows similar efforts in several states across the U.S. that have ordered public places to shutter to try to curb the spread of the virus.