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Pubs and bars to be hit by 10pm curfew starting on Thursday

Pubs under 10pm curfew
It’s time to say goodbye to your late-night pints (Picture: PA)

Boris Johnson has officially announced a 10pm closing time for pubs and restaurants in England starting on Thursday.

The strict curfew is going to be put in place across the hospitality industry, meaning all venues will be required by law to shut – not just last orders – by 10pm at the latest.

All venues will also be restricted to table service only if they are not already doing so, but the ‘rule of six’ will remain in place.

The new rule comes as one of a package of measures to tackle soaring numbers of coronavirus cases across the country.

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The PM said in the Commons at lunchtime: ‘From Thursday, all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate a table service only, except for takeaways. Together with all hospitality venues, they must close at 10pm.’

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‘To help the police enforce this rule I’m afraid that means, alas, closing and not just calling for last orders because simplicity is paramount.

‘The same will apply to takeaways, though deliveries can continue thereafter. I’m sorry this will affect many businesses getting back on their feet but we must act to stop the virus from being transmitted in bars and restaurants.’

Mr Johnson is also planning an ‘enforcement blitzkrieg’ on pubs and restaurants not obeying the restrictions.

A member of bar staff wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) in the form of a face mask, carries drinks inside the Wetherspoon pub, Goldengrove in Stratford in east London on July 4, 2020, as restrictions are further eased during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Pubs in England reopen on Saturday for the first time since late March, bringing cheer to drinkers and the industry but fears of public disorder and fresh coronavirus cases. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Pubs and other venues will also be restricted to table service only if they are not already doing so (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Pubs, bars and restaurants could be forced to shut completely if they are caught breaking the law, and the fine for flouting the ‘rule of six’ has now doubled to £200.

And where venues are allowed to remain open, police will be stepping up patrols.

The Prime Minister added: ‘In retail, leisure and tourism and other sectors our Covid secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach the rules.’

Mr Johnson has also officially dropped the Government’s message to ‘go back to work’ in a huge U-turn as employees are told to stay at home once again.

He has warned these measures and the ‘rule of six’ could remain in place for as long as six months.

The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned yesterday the UK could see 50,000 cases and 200 deaths a day within a few weeks if the current rate of infection is not halted.

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty hinted that social lives may need to be curbed to prevent coronavirus spiralling out of control, saying there was a need to ‘break unnecessary links’ between households.

The coronavirus alert level for the UK has also moved up from 3 to 4 for the first time since June, meaning the virus is spreading rapidly and exponentially through the population.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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