In his latest press conference relating to the coronavirus crisis, the Prime Minister has said UK citizens should avoid all “non-essential” contact with others as cases of the virus continue to increase worldwide.
Saying that the virus is approaching the “fast growth” stage in the UK, Boris Johnson has now urged people to avoid visiting pubs, clubs and theatres and to work from home wherever possible. Johnson said “now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact and to stop all non-essential travel.”
He added that this was particularly important for people over 70, for people who are pregnant and for those with underlying health conditions. Without “drastic action,” Johnson said, “cases could double every five or six days.”
Johnson also added that the situation was more serious in London where cases of the virus appear to be weeks ahead of the rest of the country in terms of cases.
Johnson said: “To relieve the pressure on London health system and to slow the spread in London, it is important that Londoners now pay special attention to what we’re saying about avoiding non-essential contact and to take particularly seriously, the advice about working from home and avoiding confined spaces such as pubs and restaurants.”
Whilst the PM went short of using the word “ban”, he did say the government is giving “very strong advice” that pubs, clubs and theatres should close. He also added that the government has powers to force closures if necessary in the future.
Earlier today, Lewis Capaldi and Stereophonics defended their decisions to play huge arena shows this weekend amidst health scares around the spread of coronavirus. As the spread of coronavirus outbreak continues to lead many countries into quarantine, many gigs, tours, festivals and events have been cancelled for public safety.
However, Capaldi’s sold-out gig to an 11,000-strong crowd in Aberdeen has been met with criticism – especially with Scotland’s advice on not putting on events or gatherings of more than 500 people to help deal with the pandemic coming in to play just hours later.
Speaking to the crowd, Capaldi said: “We’ve all probably got coronavirus. Wash your fucking hands, Aberdeen. Wash your fucking hands.”
Despite widespread criticism, a spokesman for Capaldi has since defended the show – arguing that the event was fully in accordance with the Scottish government’s advice and guidelines.
Many also questioned Stereophonics’ decision to play their show at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena. After the band shared footage from the gig on social meda, many fans from quarantined countries such as Italy, Spain and other affected European countries voiced their disappointment and anger.
Last night, leading US stars such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus urged their fans to stay at home and self-isolate in the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak. They follow Ariana Grande, who previously urged fans to take the coronavirus pandemic more seriously.
This is a developing story: more to follow.