Coronavirus – is it safe to visit cinemas, pubs and theatres amid the pandemic?

WITH Britain fighting to contain the spread of COVID-19, many places of social gathering have been forced to shut as the government urge people to avoid mass gatherings.

This comes as the UK’s death toll hit 55 with 1,543 cases recorded, as of Monday, March 16, 2020.

Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Reuters

Cineworld is one of the biggest cinema chains in the UK[/caption]

Is it safe to go to the cinema?

After chairing a Cobra meeting on March 16, prime minister Boris Johnson urged Brits to avoid the pub and limit social gatherings.

This includes cinemas, theatres and large gatherings.

These measures are to help stop the spread of the deadly virus which has claimed over 7,000 lives across the globe.

A poster advising cinema goers to use hand sanitisers at a screening of Mulan
AFP or licensors

A poster advising cinema goers to use hand sanitisers at a screening of Mulan[/caption]

Has Boris Johnson banned gatherings at pubs?

The prime minister has not banned gatherings at pubs.

However, he has said Brits must stop going to the pub in response to the spread of the virus.

At a press conference after an emergency Cobra meeting, he said: “We are asking people to do something difficult and that will disrupt their lives.”

He also urged Brits to work from home if they can.

A Witherspoons pub is closed for deep cleaning following, as the prime minister urges Brits to stop going to the pub
London News Pictures

A Witherspoons pub is closed for deep cleaning following, as the prime minister urges Brits to stop going to the pub[/caption]

Can I still go to the theatre?

Several theatres have already suspended shows in the midst of the outbreak.

The Old Vic has cancelled is Daniel Radcliffe led show, Endgame while several have been forced to postpone.

Boris Johnson has advised against going to the theatre saying: “What we’re doing is giving very strong advice that public venues such as theatres should no longer be visited.”

He did not call for an outright ban but added: “As for enforcement, we have the powers if necessary but I don’t believe it will be necessary to use those powers.”

If you must go to the theatre, check whether it is still opened before going there.

The PM has asked Brits to avoid going to the theatre
PA:Press Association

The PM has asked Brits to avoid going to the theatre[/caption]

What has the government said about mass gatherings?

The PM said from March 17, the government will no longer “support” mass gatherings.

Although he did not impose a ban, he said the government was “emphatically” moving away from mass gatherings.

Speaking at his daily briefing on government’s plans to tackle the virus, he said: “It remains true that risks of transmission of the disease at mass gatherings such as sporting events are relatively low, but it’s obviously logically as we’ve advised against unnecessary social contact of all kinds.

“It’s right that we should extend that advice to mass gatherings as well, so we’ve also got to ensure that we have the critical workers we need that might otherwise be deployed at those gatherings to deal with these emergencies”

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