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Sunday 12th July 2020

Coronavirus: How the pandemic affects what you can do and where you can go

People have failed to observe government advice on social distancing

Last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson closed all pubs, bars and restaurants due to the escalating coronavirus crisis.

The stringent decision came after days of people failing to observe government advice on social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full list of mandatory closures includes nightclubs, cinemas, theatres, bingo halls, gyms, spas, casinos and betting shops.

However, supermarkets and high street shops are so far, as of today, unaffected by the closures.

'We need to keep people apart' (Credit: ITV News YouTube)

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Food establishments have been told they can still provide a takeaway service for customers.

The Prime Minister said: "For now, at least physically, we need to keep people apart.

Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.

"The more effectively we follow the advice we are given, the faster this country will stage both a medical and an economic recovery in full."

He added that the measures will be enforced "strictly" and that it is "imperative" to protect the NHS and save lives.

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Members of the public have also been requested to start working from home "where they possibly can".

It is believed the PM also urged people not to make "unnecessary" visits to friends and relatives in care homes.

Schools are closed "until further notice", apart from for the children of "key workers". GCSE, A-levels and SATs exams will not go ahead in May and June.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister said everyone in the UK should avoid "non-essential" travel.

Raab has advised against foreign travel (Credit: ITV News YouTube)

In terms of public transport, train operators will gradually reduce services from Monday but core services will still run to ensure key workers can get to their jobs and the flow of goods continues.

Transport for London has closed dozens of tube stations - click here for a full list of closures.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has also said British citizens are being advised against non-essential foreign travel for 30 days.

There is no specific advice relating to libraries, but many have decided to close their doors.

Similarly, hairdressers do not seem to have been mentioned specifically in advice but it is difficult to see how having hair done conforms with social distancing.

The government is also asking people to talk to their GP or dentist to discuss whether to go in for medical appointments, or postpone them. Seek further advice from your doctor or dentist directly.

The Church of England has announced public worship is suspended but church buildings will remain open for prayer "where practical" and in keeping with social distancing rules.

And in regards to exercising outdoors - particularly in relation to children - a health Officer for Health Improvement for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) told ITV News that "exercise outdoors is a very good thing".

Max Davie said: "I think the principal is that on the one hand, outdoor exercise is good, it's going to keep everyone healthy and we have to keep the population healthy as well as protected from the virus.

"So, exercise outdoors is a very good thing and obviously social contact is a very good thing. Going to the park is fine, playing with other children, particularly if you can do it in a relatively distanced way like kicking football around [...] seems like a relatively sensible approach."

The National Trust has also reportedly said it will be opening many of its gardens and parks for free "so the nation can use open spaces to relax and refresh".

However, it is crucial that anyone taking a stroll, walking a dog in a quiet area or running in the park maintains social distancing. Read more about why social distancing is needed here.

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