People are ignoring coronavirus advice, so pubs must be closed: James O'Brien

20 March 2020, 13:34

By Adrian Sherling

James O'Brien urged the government to close pubs and restaurants because people are simply not obeying the government requests.

Boris Johnson urged people to employ social distancing, telling them to stop going to pubs and restaurants to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

But London's pubs are still busy, leading James to ask why people aren't following the government advice.

And his answer: leaving the pubs open has led to mixed messages.

"I hear people saying 'we didn't close the Bingo halls during the Blitz' only this week and you wonder what the hell is going on?

"Why are people still going to the gym? Why are people still going to the shops for unnecessary purchases? Why are people sitting in my local pizza restaurant last night when we drove past in our heavily-sanitised Volvo.

"Why has this messaging failed so completely? It's quite incredible.

James O'Brien called for pubs to be shut
James O'Brien called for pubs to be shut. Picture: LBC / PA

"It's like my theory of junk food: people don't voluntarily accept public health advice because 'if there's so much of it out there, it can't be that bad'.

"I might hear a two-minute slot on the radio explaining why we shouldn't give children chicken nuggets every night. And then, with this message in the back of your mind that you're not living off saturated fats, you walk home from the bus stop past 16 chicken shops and 18 billboards flogging all of this muck.

"It's just creating the impression that the experts are wrong and you should carry on doing the bad things.

"I think the same thing has happened in the pubs. They have told us not to go, but left them open - the more you look at it, the more insane it becomes.

"If the public advice is not to go somewhere, then close it!"