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Day 5: Key points from Prime Minister's speech

Posted on March 2020 By Jamie Southwell

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This marks the 5th day of Boris Johnson's daily updates on how the government is approaching the global coronavirus pandemic. The British Prime Minister was joined during tonight's conference by Dr Jenny Harries, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, and Chancellor, Rishi Sunak.

After officially closing schools to all pupils besides those of 'key workers', Johnson has now announced that cafes, pubs, bars, and restaurants will be closing tomorrow onward and nightclubs, cinemas, and gyms to follow suit shortly. With Mother's Day coming up this Sunday, Johnson has recommended that everyone with an elderly mother to think very hard about the risk of transmission of the virus when visiting her.

Key points to take away from today's speech are:

  • We'll see more ventilators and intensive care units soon as PM promises there's a "massive effort" when trying to get spaces for everyone.

  • Public transport shall remain active for now with it being "fundamental to our ability to deliver vital public services."

  • Government has confirmed they'll be paying up to 80% of wages for employees currently unable to work, up to £2,500 a month.

  • Johnson is strengthening measures on closure of public places by saying "We are telling cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not reopen tomorrow." This measure will be followed by nightclubs, cinemas, and gyms soon.

  • No business will pay VAT until end of June.

Biggest rise in deaths in one day, as the UK has now hit a total of 177, making that 39 since yesterday. We've risen to 3,269 cases since last night and it appears to continue rising.

To read a brief summary of last night's points and important measures click here.

Here's the full conference, courtesy of BBC: