(Birmingham Live) – Boris Johnson said the Government was strengthening radical measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants must close from Friday night and theatres, gyms and leisure centres will also be forced to shut down.
The decision will be reviewed each month but anyone planning to sneak a final evening out before the ban has been urged to resist the temptation.
“That is how we protect the NHS and save lives,” the Prime Minister said.
“We will get through this and beat the virus. Follow this advice and the faster recovery will be.”
Mr Johnson said he understood the concerns of customers and the industry but the steps were necessary to save lives.
Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted that the measures to shut pubs and other public spaces were “absolutely essential to do this given the excruciating pressure hospitals, especially in London, are under”.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he recognised it was his responsibility to protect the industry and announced the coronavirus job protection scheme to help people stay in their jobs with no financial limit placed on the plan.
He said the Treasury woild be paying 80 per cent of workers’ wages to ease hardship during the crisis.
He also announced a range of government-funded schemes to aid business and extended loans to industry.