Britons woke up to a grim reality today after all pubs in the United Kingdom were ordered closed “as soon as they reasonably can” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in the country’s latest measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
In addition to the popular watering holes, which are a fixture of British society, the federal government ordered the closure of gyms, theaters, cinemas and nightclubs, and restaurants were only allowed open for take-out.
Johnson said the measure would be reviewed each month, and the government will pay 80% of wages for employees or up to the equivalent of $2,900 per month.
The closures took effect as the coronavirus death toll in the United Kingdom hit 233 Saturday.
“The more effectively we follow the advice we are given, the faster this country will stage both a medical and an economic recovery in full,” said Johnson Friday, warning patrons not to go out for a last round before the closures went into effect late Friday.
The pub and restaurant closure rules follow similar edicts for restaurants and bars around the world, and came nearly a week after Ireland ordered all pubs closed from last Sunday night.