Prime Minister orders pubs and restaurants to close

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The Prime Minister has ordered pubs, cafes, restaurants, theatres and gyms to close from tonight, Friday 20th March in a bid to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

Boris Johnson made the announcement during his daily news conference in which he acknowledged that people may be tempted to go out on Friday night but urged people to stay at home.

As it stands, 167 people have died in England, six in Scotland, three in Wales and one in Northern Ireland – taking the total in the UK to 177.

All fatalities have been aged between 50 and 99 years old and had underlying health conditions.

A statement from NHS England said: “A further 39 people, who tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in England to 167.

“Patients were aged between 50 and 99 years old and had underlying health conditions.

“Their families have been informed.”

Schools closed to most students today and will only open to children of ‘key workers’ from Monday, 23rd March to try and slow the spread of the virus.

Strict rules on avoiding social contact may need to last “at least most of a year”, the government’s scientific advisors have revealed.

Updates as more information becomes available.

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