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Coronavirus updates: Prime Minister orders shutdown of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants as Chancellor unveils unprecedented bailout

  • UK-wide shutdown: Pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas, gyms among venues to shut
  • Government to pay 80% of wages for employees not working, up to £2,500 a month
  • NI Department of Health to recruit 5,000 former staff
  • NI health staff to have wages paid for three days of strike action
  • Schools "as we know them" are now closed but will provide childcare for key workers
  • NI public transport services to be reduced
  • Self-distancing to be in place for most of a year, scientists say
  • Nine new coronavirus cases in NI, bringing total to 86

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced pubs, cafes, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, theatres, leisure centres and gyms must close from Friday night to help halt the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Johnson said the intention of the plan was to push "down further on that curve of transmission between us". Food outlets will still be able to provide takeaway services.

First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill welcomed the move, with Mrs Foster saying that lives would be saved as a result.

During the Government's daily press briefing, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that "for the first time in our history" the Government will step in and help pay people's wages through a coronavirus job retention scheme.

To all those at home, right now anxious about the days ahead, I say you will not face this alone Rishi Sunak

"Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll rather than being laid off," he said.

"Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month - that's just above the median income."

At a glance: Coronavirus bailout

  • Government to pay 80% of the salary of retained workers, up to a total of £2,500 a month
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme interest-free for 12 months
  • VAT payments deferred to mid June for all businesses
  • Universal Credit standard allowance and working tax credit basic element increased by £1,000 a year for 12 months
  • Self-employed people to access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.
  • Local Housing Allowance to cover at least 30% of market rents

It comes after First Minister Arlene Foster said that schools will remain open to provide childcare for key workers.

Schools officially closed on Friday, but Mrs Foster said they would now be repurposed to help key staff attend work.

At the daily press conference deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill also announced health staff who took part in industrial action to get pay parity will have their wages paid for the three days of strike action.

The message came as nine new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Northern Ireland.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the region to 86 of those people who have been tested.

On Thursday, one person who tested positive for the virus passed away in a hospital in the greater Belfast area.

Here's how Friday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph