The United Kingdom Is Closed: Johnson Shutters Pubs and Restaurants

March 21, 2020 Updated: March 21, 2020

LONDON—Prime Minister Boris Johnson effectively closed down the United Kingdom on Friday, ordering pubs, restaurants, theaters, cinemas and gyms to shut their doors in a bid to slow down the accelerating spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

As the CCP virus outbreak sweeps across the world, governments, companies and investors are grappling with the biggest public health crisis since the 1918 influenza pandemic, panicked populations and imploding financial markets.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

Johnson said he understood just how wrenching it was to take away the ancient rights of the British people to go to the pub but that it was absolutely essential to slow the spread of the virus.

“I do accept that what we’re doing is extraordinary: we’re taking away the ancient, inalienable right of free-born people of the United Kingdom to go to the pub, and I can understand how people feel about that,” Johnson said. “It’s a huge wrench.”

“It’s a huge wrench to do that, everybody understands that,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking to think of the businesses that will face difficulties as a result of the measures this country has had to take.”

The United Kingdom so far has 3,983 confirmed cases of the CCP virus, after 66,976 people were tested, though the government’s scientists say it is raging across London, partly as some people are not obeying government advice to isolate.

At total of 177 people with the virus have died so far across the country.

People eat at a restaurant in Harpenden as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues
People eat at a restaurant in Harpenden, Britain, on March 20, 2020. (Peter Cziborra/Reuters)

Johnson said pubs, restaurants, theaters, nigthtclubs, cinemas and gyms and leisure centers were being asked to close on Friday night and to stay shut indefinitely.

“We are telling cafes, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not to open tomorrow,” Johnson told reporters in Downing Street. “Though to be clear, they can continue to provide takeout services.

“Some people may of course be tempted to go out tonight, and I say to those people, ‘please don’t,'” Johnson said.

Johnson’s finance minister Rishi Sunak launched a gigantic stimulus package to stabilize Britain’s virus-hit economy on Friday, including the government paying the wages of workers up and down the country.

By Costas Pitas and Paul Sandle

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report