Tuesday 17 March 2020 1:17 pm

Coronavirus: Major cinema chains close all sites

The UK’s major cinema chains have announced they will close immediately after the government yesterday ramped up the fight back against coronavirus.

Odeon, Vue, Picturehouse and Cineworld have all announced the closure of all their sites across the UK, while London’s BFI Southbank has also temporarily shut after the public were told to avoid public gatherings. 

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Cineworld’s share price plummeted 27.65 per cent on the announcement that all of its venues will be temporarily closed. 

In a statement posted online Odeon said: “Following government guidelines Odeon cinemas are closed until further notice.”

Picturehouse said: “It’s with great sadness that Picturehouse is today announcing the closure of all it’s cinemas across the UK starting from Wednesday 18 March, until further notice.”

Theatres in the West End also closed last night immediately after Boris Johnson yesterday urged the public to practice social distancing. 

The Tate galleries and the Natural History Museum also today announced they would close their doors.

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Selfridges and Harrods have reduced their opening hours in a bid to delay the spread of the virus, and high street chain Laura Ashley has become the first retail victim of the outbreak after it was forced to call in administrators this morning. 

Pubs and restaurants are facing staff cuts and venue closures this morning after the government recommended that the public should socially distance themselves.