As the coronavirus outbreak gets steadily worse, many independent restaurants are likely to struggle to remain open, with some already announcing temporary closures.
In an effort to help out, people have taken to social media to discuss the best way of supporting business while remaining indoors.
Many are posting under the hashtag #supportlocal and #community, urging others to buy gift vouchers for restaurants and businesses now, to be used at a later date. This comes as many are faced with cancelled reservations and bookings, at a time when many people would be out celebrating events such as Mother's Day.
'Something to look forward to'
Twitter account @FinanceDrummond wrote, "Mother’s Day is a very busy time for local businesses. If understandably reluctant to book at table for next Sunday, you could phone up the local hotel, restaurant or cafe & buy a gift voucher to be used at a later date."
@CanDoCaterers tweeted, "Please go online and buy gift vouchers for your local businesses and restaurants. You can use them at a later date but also helps the businesses survive."
@ToastAle added, "Supporting your local pub, bar or restaurant this weekend? Here’s to you! If you’re not able to get out, why not buy a voucher online for your favourite spot? You get something to look forward to & a small business gets some much needed custom."
Concern for those on zero hour contracts
Concern is also rising for those on hourly or zero hours contracts, who may lose out on shifts or be asked not to come in as people spend less time out socialising.
Unions are calling on the government to end zero hours contracts (when no set hours are agreed) and have urged for sick pay to be made available to all.
As of Monday 16 March, Downing Street will have daily briefings to keep the country informed during the crisis, in which Prime Minister Boris Johnson or a senior minister will attend a daily televised press conference.