London pubs, gyms, leisure centres and cinemas told to shut

Pubs, gyms, leisure centres and cinemas will be told to shut across London as the coronavirus clampdown tightens its grip.

The Evening Standard is reporting Boris Johnson will shortly announce the measures after an earlier meeting.

The PM has so far advised Britons to avoid pubs and other social gatherings. Johnson is due to hold a news conference at 5pm on Friday.

It comes as the UK looks to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus, which is claiming more lives each day. At the time of publication 144 were said to have died in the UK and 3,269 contracted the virus over all.

The move to close pubs, if confirmed, would put the UK's containment measures in line with Spain, France and Italy, who have already shuttered cafes, pubs and cinemas to slow the progress of the pandemic.

Yesterday the Government urged young people told to ditch pubs to prevent catching the disease which puts a high proportion of people in critical care.

People with underlying conditions and the elderly have been warned by the Government to stay inside as much as possible as they are at the biggest risk of dying.

The UK's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said: "Unless everybody looks at the measures introduced by the government on social distancing it doesn't have the effect.

"So what we absolutely shouldn't encourage is the idea that young people can somehow ignore it because they’re going to be fine.

"The mixing in pubs and restaurants that we’ve said are really a part of allowing the disease to spread needs to stop."

One of the UK's biggest pub chains said today it would remain open, despite some members of staff having tested positive.

The 64-year-old boss of pub chain Wetherspoons has said that he would take the opportunity to catch the coronavirus under the right conditions, as he argued that his pubs should stay open.

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Chairman Tim Martin, who describes himself as an ex-heavy smoker with two major operations under his belt, said he would take his chances with the deadly disease.

"If someone offered me the opportunity now to have it under supervised conditions, I think I'd probably take it because your chances are very, very good," he told reporters on a call on Friday.

The UK's Emergency Coronavirus Bill is set to go through parliament soon which will give the Government new powers to restrict people's movement.

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