Boris Johnson orders closure of all pubs, restaurants and gyms in the UK
The measures take effect from midnight tonight.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered the closure of all pubs, restaurants, gyms, cafes, leisure centres and theatres in the United Kingdom in an effort to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The measures, similar to those recommended by the government in Ireland last Sunday (15 March), will take effect from midnight on Friday (20 March).
On Friday, the death toll from Covid-19 in the UK rose to 177 after 39 deaths in England alone in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day figure so far.
As of Thursday evening, there were 3,269 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom, a figure which is likely to rise significantly when updated on Friday and over the weekend.
In Northern Ireland, the number of confirmed cases rose to 86 as of Thursday.
Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Johnson urged those tempted to go out on Friday night to stay at home to stop the spread of the virus.
"You may be tempted to go out tonight and I say to you please don’t, you may think that you are invincible - but there is no guarantee that you will get it.
"But you can still be a carrier of the disease and pass it on.
"We want you as far as possible to stay at home."
"Your sacrifice means we are putting the country in a better and stronger position and we will be able to save thousands of lives," he added.