ALL bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants have been ordered to close from tonight, March 20, as the nation continues to battle coronavirus.

Gyms, theatres, leisure centres and similar establishments are also being forced to close.

However, take-aways can continue to open, under the latest order from Government this evening.

In his daily press briefing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We're going to defeat this disease with a huge national effort in reducing social contact.

"We want you to stay at home, that's how we can protect our NHS and save lives. 

"We will beat this virus."

Mr Johnson said the Government would be continually assessing the situation around pubs and cafes and other requested closures 'to see if we can relax any of these measures'.

He added: “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.”

Meanwhile, the Government has confirmed it will introduce grants to cover 80 per cent of salaries for employees who are made to take unpaid leave by their employer due to the coronavirus, up to the value of £2,500 a month.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "I have a responsibility to make sure that we protect, as far as possible, people’s jobs and incomes.

“Today I can announce that in the first time of our history, the Government is going to step in and help pay people’s wages.

“We’re setting up a new coronavirus job retention scheme. Any employer in the country small or large, charitable or non-profit, will be eligible for the scheme."