Coronavirus: Should you go to bars and restaurants if they’re open? Dr Hilary’s advice

Coronavirus in the UK has led to the public being told to avoid social settings such as pubs, restaurants and theatres to try limit the spread of the virus. Some pubs and restaurants have remained over and some people have continued to visit them. But is this the right thing to do?


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Dr Hilary Jones appeared on ITV’s Lorraine said social distancing is more important than it’s ever been, but bars, restaurants and food outlets shouldn’t be avoided all together.

He advised a bar where it’s five people thick, where people are climbing over each other to get a drink, this should be avoided.

The TV doctor added: “If you find somewhere that’s making food available and you’re not on top of each other, for me that is still ok.”

His general rule is that if it’s a busy bar or restaurant, avoid it.

He said visiting somewhere that’s busy is a “mistake”.

He added: “That needs to be discouraged and people should avoid that.”

Many people have also questioned whether gyms should be avoided.

Dr Hilary’s advice? “Any poorly ventilated are where there’s lots of people should be avoided,” he said.

Alternatives to the gym include doing exercise at home, at the park or going for a walk.

Dr Hilary warned: “Don’t stop exercising – it keeps us sane, fit and healthy.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday UK schools, colleges and nurseries will close from Friday.

The NHS says staying at home can help stop coronavirus spreading.


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The health body advises: “You’ll need to stay at home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does.”

Staying at home means you should:

  • Not go to work, school or public areas
  • Not use public transport or taxis
  • Not have visitors, such friends and family, in your home
  • Not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at home

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you’ll need to stay at home for seven days.

The symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature and a new, continuous cough.

A high temperature means you feel hot to touch in your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).

A new, continuous cough means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, its may be worse than usual).

You should avoid visiting GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals at this time.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do. 

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