Coronavirus: All UK pubs will close in leaked government plans
Pubs in the UK will reportedly close after next weekend in an attempt to stem the rapid spread of coronavirus.
The temporary closure of pubs, bars and restaurants is one of a series of extreme measures being prepared by the government to prevent the healthcare system from being devastated by COVID-19.
It will come into effect some time after next weekend, when the ban on mass public gatherings is enforced, according to ITV's political editor Robert Peston.
The hashtag #ClosethePubs has already been circulating on social media for much of the day, with many Brits calling for drinking establishments to shut their doors and encourage social distancing.
Other measures include hotels and other buildings being repurposed as makeshift hospitals, private hospitals being requisitioned as emergency hospitals and the manufacturing of respirators for the acutely ill.
Some schools will also be closed for perhaps a few weeks, with a skeleton staff continuing to work and provide childcare for NHS workers and members of the police.
All Brits over 70 will soon be required by law to self-isolate for four months even if they have no symptoms, in a "wartime-style" mobilisation effort likely to begin in the next five to 20 days.
"According to a senior government source, the perception that ministers are reluctant to make difficult and costly decisions to battle the virus is wrong," Peston says.
"It is simply that the chief medical officer Chris Whitty and the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance are waiting for the optimal time to force restrictions on our way of life that will be very painful."
The government reportedly wants to delay the quarantine out of concern some elderly people will die at home due to neglect.
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