10pm curfew for pubs

Brenda Watkins
September 22, 2020

"If we are to avoid significant excess deaths and exceptional pressure in the NHS and other health services over the autumn and winter everyone has to follow the social distancing guidance, wear face coverings correctly and wash their hands regularly".

Boris Johnson is to deliver an update to the nation later today where he will outline new restrictions for England aimed at halting a new rise in coronavirus infections.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, describing the new restrictions for pubs, bars and restaurants as "another crushing blow" for many businesses.

What measures is he expected to announce?

As part of new measures, Prime Minister is said to be placing a nighttime curfew on the hospitality industry and enforce patrols to make sure venues are obeying the "Rule of Six".

It comes after the United Kingdom government's chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance and England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty were sent out to update the country on rising infection rates in a televised address on Monday. There are people in manufacturing, in construction, in retail and in other roles where we recognise that's simply impossible.

The Times reports the nation's Covid-19 alert system has been raised to its second-highest level.

Ahead of the meeting, the Prime Minister will phone the first ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, while the Cabinet received a detailed briefing from the Government's chief medical, scientific and economic advisers over the weekend, Mr Johnson's official spokesman said.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: "No-one underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose to many individuals and businesses".

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"It is hard to understand how these measures are the solution to fighting the disease when Government data shows that just 5% of infections out of the home are related to hospitality".

The group said the cuts would impact 18% of the total workforce across its hotel and restaurant brands, which also includes the Beefeater pubs and Brewers Fayre chains. He said an estimated 6,000 new cases were occurring every day, and warned Britain needed, "speed", "action", and to do "enough" to curb cases.

"Ministers making decisions - and all of society - have to walk this very hard balance", he said.

Vallance added that cases had doubled in seven days, and warned if unchecked at that rate cases would reach 49,000 new infections a day by mid-October.

He said the country was at a "tipping point" and "we're working right now on what further measures may be necessary".

On Monday, Northern Ireland said it would extend existing restrictions in some localities on households mixing indoors across the whole of the province from Tuesday, while Wales slapped curbs on four more areas.

"But if we go too far the other way, then we can cause damage to the economy which can feed through to unemployment, to poverty, to deprivation - all of which have long-term health effects, so we need always to keep these two sides in mind".

The Government said that as of 9am on Monday, there had been a further 4,368 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

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