21 March 2020 10:32
Britain's pubs, cafes, bars, restaurants and gyms are closed as the UK increases its efforts in the fight against coronavirus. Prime minister Boris Johnson said a number of venues, including nightclubs, theatres, and leisure centres should shut indefinitely from Friday night to slow the spread of Covid-19 and prevent the NHS coming under unsustainable pressure. The Government also announced unprecedented measures to cover the wages of workers who would otherwise lose their jobs due to the outbreak, although questions remain over how the self-employed will be protected. Takeaways are allowed to stay open and a decision on whether to reopen venues would be reviewed each month, Mr Johnson said. On Friday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Government would for "the first time of our history [...] step in and help pay people's wages." Rishi Sunak announced Government grants will cover 80 per cent of the salary of "retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month".
"To all those at home, right now anxious about the days ahead, I say you will not face this alone." Treasury Chief Secretary Stephen Barclay admitted it would be difficult to provide protection for the incomes of self-employed Britons. The Government has faced criticism that it plan to underwrite the wages of millions of workers did not cover the freelancers, contractors and the self-employed. Pressed on whether the Government would come forward with measures specifically for the self-employed, he said: "I come back to this underlying point about operationally what is difficult to do and what can be delivered to the timescales were are working to." Announcing the closure of a number of services across the UK, Boris Johnson said the measures were needed to reduce "unnecessary" social gatherings by 75 per cent in order to have an impact on the infection rate. Despite Mr Johnson's warning, it did not stop some Britons enjoying one last night-out in pubs and bars. The Prime Minister said: The speed of our eventual recovery depends entirely on our collective ability to get on top of the virus now and that means we have to take the next steps on scientific advice.
Camra said the industry "needs to be protected and supported if they are to continue to contribute so much to their local and the national economies." Chancellor Rishi Sunak lays out Government's package to help businesses closed by coronavirus He added: "You can still be a carrier of the disease and pass it on." It comes after the Government's top scientific advisors warned young people not to be complacent over the outbreak - urging the public to keep up social distancing measures to protect themselves. The new measures were welcomed by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan who said he agreed with the decision to shut pubs, restaurants and other public spaces. Hall & Woodhouse is also giving support to their business partners who rent 130 of their pubs. Managing Director Matt Kearsey said in response to the Coronavirus outbreak: "Even in our 243-year history, these are unprecedented times and we need to act decisively. "The action we are taking we believe is the right thing to do for the moment for everyone in the communities that we serve in light of the Government advice for people not to visit pubs.
Hopefully the Government will follow our lead and provide support for people in this situation." He said they were also supporting their Business Partners who rent 130 of their pubs to run their own businesses. "We announced some days ago as a first step, amongst other things, a 100% rent holiday for a month. "We are following Government guidelines as to working from home for our support offices. Boris Johnson said the Government is telling pubs, cafes, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, theatres, leisure centres and gyms to close from tonight to fight coronavirus. The Prime Minister called on a 'national effort' to try to defeat COVID-19 to avoid 'unnecessary social contact' and 'we will be able to save lives'. "We are collectively telling cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not to open tomorrow. "We are also telling nightclub, theatres and cinemas and leisure centres to close on the same time." Meanwhile, chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the 'economic interventention he was announcing today was unprecidented in the history of the British state'. He announced a package that will see the government pay up to 80 per cent of wages - or up to £2,500 a month - for people who are not working be kept on payroll. Under the Coronavirus job retention scheme he said: "Any employers in the county - small or large, charitable or non-profit will be eligible for the scheme. "Employers will be able to contact by HRMC for a grant to cover the wages of people who are not working that are furlowed and kept on payroll rather than being laid off. "It means that workers in any part of the UK can retain their job even if their employer cannot afford to pay them. "Today I can announce that for the first time in our history the government is going to step in and help to pay people's wages. He added: "Our ability to come through won't just be down to what governement or businesses do, this will be judged by the acts of kindness we show to each other - the small businesses who does everything they cannot to lay off their staff, the student who does a shop for their elderly neighbour, the retired nurse who volunteers to cover shifts at her local hopsital. "We want to look back on this time and remember how in the face of a generation defining moment we undertook a collective national effort and we stood together. PUBS, clubs, bars, gyms and more have been ordered to close tonight. Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement in his daily briefing today. He said: "Following an agreement between all formations of the United Kingdom and all of 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. "We are also telling nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres to close on the same time-scale. He said the situation would be reviewed each month "to see if we can relax any of these measures" and promised to stand by companies affected by the unprecedented action. Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak outlined how the Government planned to help those hit by the sudden closures. He said: "The economic intervention that I'm announcing today is unprecedented in the history of the British state. "Combined with our previous announcements on public services and business support, our planned economic response will be one of the most comprehensive in the world. I know that people are worried about losing their jobs, about not be ing able to pay the rent or mortgage and about not having enough set by for food and bills. "People, businesses, government; it's on all of us. "To meet our commitment to that effort, I am today announcing a combination of measures unprecedented for a government of this nation. "Our plan for people's jobs and incomes will protect people's jobs, offer more generous support to those who are without employment, strengthen the safety net for those who work for themselves and help people stay in their homes." He said the first part of the plan aimed to protect people's jobs. "For the first time in our history the government is going to step in and pay people's wages," Mr Sunak said. "Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll rather than being laid off. "Government grants will cover 80 per cent of the slary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month. "That means workers in any part of the UK can retain their job even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80 per cent of their salary. "The coronavirus job retention scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1 and will be open initially for at least three months - and I will extend the scheme for longer if necessary. "We will pay grants to support as many jobs as necessary."