Large numbers of pubs, restaurants and hotels have announced they will close their doors for the foreseeable future following the escalation of measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Hawksmoor, Corbin and King, Mowgli, Chez Bruce, Manorview hotels, and D&D London are among those to have said they will cease to trade following the prime minister's announcements this week.
Corbin and King founders Chris Corbin and Jeremy King have said: "We have been put in an invidious situation that we feel leaves us with no option but to close all our London restaurants today. We will continue to pay staff for the foreseeable future and are working closely with our landlords and other stakeholders to protect both the staff and the company."
In a press statement Des Gunewardena, chairman and CEO of D&D London said: "We fully understand the need to play our part in defeating the spread of coronavirus and the safety of our staff and customers is of course of paramount importance. And we have had to similarly close our restaurants in New York and Paris.
"Nevertheless it is a desperately sad day for us and for other UK restaurants who also face closure. Our number one priority now is to work closely with government bodies to ensure that the welfare of our staff and their families is managed through this period of uncertainty. We hope the government steps up to the challenge."
Nisha Katona, founder of Mowgli, wrote on Instagram: "We intend to close Mowgli across the country as of tomorrow night. Any NHS workers dining in Mowgli today and tomorrow with their NHS ID will receive food for free. It is our way is clapping you from our balconies our dear heroes we thank you for all you do and all you will do over the next months. As we mothball our beloved Mowgli, myself and my senior management team will now work without sleeping on the way in which we can honour our teams over the next months."
Hawksmoor has said that closing its sites, and delaying the opening of its first New York restaurant, has required ending the employment of some people. It added: "We have made these difficult decisions to do what we can to protect the jobs of the hundreds of people we still employ during what may be a prolonged period of closure."
Manorview hotels has said it will retain all staff on 50% of their salaries or average weekly earnings as well as offering bedrooms to the NHS is needed.
Many more temporary closures have been announced, including all McDonald's restaurants in the UK and Ireland which will offer only delivery and drive through services, and numbers will be expected to increase in the coming days and week with the government having announced that measures to contain the spread of the virus will become more severe.
Yesterday chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £330b support package for the economy including the freezing of all business rates for the next 12 months. He pledged to bring more relief it was necessary to ensure businesses and jobs survive the coming months.