BUSINESSES in Helensburgh and Lomond have been saying farewell to their customers after the UK government ordered pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants to close in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out the measure – which also affects theatres, leisure centres and gyms – in his daily briefing on Friday.

However, takeaways – for the moment at least – will remain open.

Many of the affected cafes and restaurants in Helensburgh and the surrounding area had already announced plans to keep going as best they can, by introducing or extending home delivery or takeaway services to compensate for the reduced number of customers through the door.

The government says the situation will be reviewed each month.

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Here's just a few of the responses to the news from Helensburgh businesses, as posted on social media following Friday evening's announcement...

Will Smith from the Sugar Boat on the restaurant's Facebook page: "Goodbye for now people. Very strange closing our restaurant tonight and not knowing for how long.

"I have a strong and talented team. You’ll be hearing from us regularly. Watch out for those newsletters (I have time to send so many more now).

"To all who have ordered the delivery and collection menu already a huge thank you. It will develop and change and we’ll fine tune.

"Send us your suggestions for anything you’d like and we’ll quote you and prepare it - we love a challenge.

"Look after yourselves and keep safe with love from us all."

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The Argyll Bar: "First it was hand sanitizer, then bog roll, then pasta and now it's the pubs. As from tomorrow [Saturday] all pubs across the country will be closed.

"It is a sad day, but we're hoping to have one last cracker of a night before the taps stop pouring.

"And if we don't see you tonight we WILL see you whenever the pubs are back.

"Stay safe folks, all our love."

Riverhill Courtyard: "In response to the governments announcement this evening, we are unfortunately going to have to close our doors temporarily. We are also going to be amending our delivery service slightly.

"As we’re sure everyone can understand these are difficult and unprecedented measures, and we are all still trying to take it in.

"With that in mind, we are going to complete all orders placed today for tomorrow’s delivery and then we will be TEMPORARILY suspending the service until Tuesday.

"We are taking this time to adjust and plan for the new guidelines and restrictions.

"We will be updating our social media over the weekend to keep everyone informed of any changes and offerings.

"These are difficult times and we will be doing our absolute best to look after our team, and to keep a reduced service going.

"We thank you all for your continued support and will be doing all we can to get back to full service as soon as we all can.

"Look after yourselves, help those most vulnerable and stay positive!"

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Andrea at Humbles in Colquhoun Square: "I’m sure you have all seen the statement tonight. As from tonight Humbles will be closing until further notice.

"I’m devastated having to post this. I never thought when I said goodbye to my customers and locked the door today that would be it..

"I’m going miss this place and all my customers..

"We will be serving takeout all weekend as some are already booked in tomorrow and Sunday.

"As from next week I will be open for takeout and maybe a delivery service...please look out for updates and menus

"To my amazing team.. they are like family and going to be such a miss.. They are truly amazing and without them I wouldn’t be able to run the business I love so much

"Thank you for all your support over the years...I appreciate you all so much.. Look out for our takeout menus coming Monday.

"Stay safe and healthy...look after yourself and your families.

"We will be back soon. Can’t wait to see you all again soon."

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Steve Losh from The Journey personal training centre, in a video: "It's with a sad heart, folks, that I look around my centre and I have to announce that we are closing down - not because I want to, because I have to. It is what it is.

"It's difficult times for us all right now. Even more so for every person I know that runs a gymnasium – I send all my heart out to you guys – but more importantly to my clients and my staff.

"Do not worry about what is going on right now. This is just the start of something big, and belive you me, we will bounce back, stronger and bigger than we've ever been before.

"I will not let something like this break us down.

"I want to say a huge thank you toi all of my team. We've just spent the last four days, night and day, building a digital platform to support and cater for all of our fantastic clients, so all of their fitness programmes are now waiting in their inbox."

The Clyde Bar: "Due to the announcement made earlier this afternoon The Clyde Bar will be closing at nine o’clock tonight, for the foreseeable future.

"Thanks to all the staff, the stewards, John and Frances and of course you!

"We’ll be back but until then stay safe and look after each other."

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Siona Garden from the Cafe at Kilcreggan: Good evening everyone. I'm sure many of you will now be aware of the latest news from Boris Johnson regarding the closing of many types of establishments from tonight to protect against infection from corona virus.

"Therefore I can now confirm that the cafe will be closed to customers wishing to sit in.

"For now we will operate a takeaway service for front line workers to use which will be done at the front door.

"We thank you for all of your support and please do contact us if you need anything. We will do our best to help."

* Other hospitality, leisure and entertainment venues in Helensburgh and Lomond had already announced they were closing their doors before Mr Johnson's announcement on Friday.

The Tower Digital Arts Centre's doors were shut at 12 noon on Wednesday, while LiveArgyll's leisure and library venues followed suit later that day.

* Earlier on Friday, scientists advised social measures will need to be in place for most of a year at least in order to control the spread of Covid-19, as the UK death toll hit 177.

The government's Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling agreed on Monday that, while the severity of measures could alternate during the period, “stricter” measures would need to be enforced for at least half of the year in order to keep cases at a level the NHS can cope with.

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