British prime minister Boris Johnson has drastically ramped up the country’s response to coronavirus, introducing measures that are likely to further damage TV and film production, as well as cinema and theatre audiences.
Also today, theater organizations Society of London Theatre and U.K. Theatre said that their member venues will close until further notice tonight, including the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, the London Palladium, the Old Vic and the Royal Opera House.
In a press conference on Monday, Johnson said people in the UK should start working from home, should avoid non-essential travel and should not visit public venues including theaters and pubs.
Families have also been advised to stay at home for 14 days if they display symptoms of COVID-19, such as a cough or fever, according to the prime minister.
The measures remain in the guidance phase and are not being legally enforced. Johnson said “drastic action” is needed to tackle the virus, as the number of cases in the UK has risen to 1,543, while 53 have died from the disease.
The advice comes as coronavirus has begun to bite for UK productions for the first time, with shows including Peaky Blinders, Line Of Duty and The Witcher being halted on Monday.