Sheffield's pubs, clubs and restaurants closed indefinitely after final night of trading as war against coronavirus ramps up

Sheffield’s pubs, clubs and restaurants are closed indefinitely as of today after a final night of trading in the city after the government ordered their closure yesterday.

Saturday, 21st March 2020, 7:02 am
Updated Saturday, 21st March 2020, 7:02 am

Tens of thousands of pubs, bars, theatres and restaurants across the country have closed their doors as the Government battles to slow the spread of Covid-19, which had claimed 177 lives as of yesterday afternoon.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the dramatic closing down of the hospitality and entertainment sectors amid fears the NHS will be overwhelmed unless the coronavirus outbreak slows down.

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Carver Street in Sheffield city centre has a number of bars

With scientists warning ‘social distancing’ measures will have to stay in place for months businesses have been left wondering if they will be able to open their doors again.

Meanwhile economists have said the bill to taxpayers for the government's unprecedented scheme to cover most of the wages of workers whose jobs are under threat from the outbreak could run to billions of pounds a month.

The Prime Minister announced the closure of pubs and restaurants at a Downing Street news conference yesterday following reports that many people were ignoring an earlier voluntary appeal to stay away.

While he acknowledged the ban went against the ‘freedom-loving instincts’ of the British people, he said it was essential to achieve the 75 per cent reduction in ‘unnecessary’ social contacts required to reduce the rate of infection.

It was not clear exactly how the measures will be enforced, although the Prime Minister indicated it could be done through the licensing system.

Emma McClarkin, the chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “We stand ready to play our part in the fight against Covid-19 and in the process protecting our communities and employees.

“As a sector employing nearly one million people, the Chancellor's support package announced today on staff wages will safeguard thousands of livelihoods and help closed pubs try to get through this difficult period.

“We stand ready to work with the Government to ensure that the support is accessible as fast as possible.”