The Government's request for people to avoid any unnecessary contact could test the willpower of thousands tonight during St Patrick's Day celebrations.

But one Irish bar in Morden is taking safety matters into its own hands.

Ganley's Irish Bar in London Road announced today that it would be be temporarily closing its doors.

"For the health and welfare of our loyal customers and faithful staff we have taken the decision to close the premises from now and for the foreseeable future," a post on the pub's Facebook page read.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with you at this time and the local community, but understand the importance of ensuring and encouraging our community to follow the guidance, we are all now becoming more aware of.

"While we all adapt to the ever changing circumstances, we trust everyone can remain safe and wish you all good health at this testing time.

"With love, Kieran, Frank and the management team, and our ever serving and loyal staff."

Last night Boris Johnson said that the rapid spread of coronavirus is now underway, and cases could double every week.

He warned people to stop all "unnecessary social contact", and said some vulnerable people will be sheltered for up to 12 weeks in plans to be brought in soon.

Alongside scientists he said avoiding gatherings will be important and reducing our social contact with others.

The bar's post advised that all tickets for today will be refunded this Thursday between 12 and 3pm, but only with the purchased ticket present.