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Boris Johnson orders theatres to close from this evening and announces new job and economic protections

The Prime Minister has made his daily statement

Her Majesty's Theatre
© Matthias Nonnenmacher / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

At his daily statement today, Boris Johnson has ordered that all theatres, nightclubs, bars and restaurants be closed.

He said live that venues "are a place where people come together, but the sad thing is that physically we need to keep people apart. We will review the situation each month to see if we can relax these measures."

SOLT and UK Theatres, as well as almost all non-affiliated theatres across the UK, have already closed venues following the Prime Minister's advice to "avoid" theatres earlier this week.

During the same speech, the Chancellor also announced the coronavirus job retention scheme, which will allow companies and organisations to apply for a grant from HMRC which will cover 80% of the salaries of workers who are unable to work due to coronavirus, up to £2,500 per month. This could mean that workers can retain jobs, even if their bosses can't afford them.

There are also some new measures in place for freelancers, including a raising of the universal credit allowance and the Working Tax Credit basic element.