Pubs, bars and restaurant to be told to shut at 10pm across country
Pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be ordered to close by 10pm each night from Thursday under tough restrictions set to be announced by Boris Johnson in a bid to curb the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.
The Prime Minister will use an address to the nation on Tuesday evening to outline new measures to stop the spread of Covid-19, which will also restrict the hospitality sector to table service only.
Mr Johnson will emphasise the need for people to follow social-distancing guidance, wear face coverings and wash their hands regularly, and – according to reports – urge people to work from home where it does not hurt businesses.
According to The Daily Telegraph, other potential measures being considered include a further delay to trials of spectators returning to professional sport events and the closure of indoor concert venues.
On Tuesday morning, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said there was going to be a “shift in emphasis” on the Government’s advice about working from home, telling Sky News: “If it is possible for people to work from home then we would encourage them to do so.”
It comes after the Government’s chief scientific and medical advisers painted a grim picture of how 200 or more people in the UK could die each day by mid-November if the current rate of infection is not halted.
Sir Patrick Vallance, speaking alongside Professor Chris Whitty on Monday, said the “vast majority of the population remain susceptible” to catching coronavirus and the current situation required swift action to bring the case numbers down.
The UK’s four chief medical officers then recommended raising the Covid alert level from three to four – the second highest – indicating the “epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially”.
Mr Johnson will chair meetings of Cabinet and the Cobra emergency committee – including the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – on Tuesday before a televised address at 8pm.
A Number 10 spokesperson said: “No-one underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose to many individuals and businesses.
“We know this won’t be easy, but we must take further action to control the resurgence in cases of the virus and protect the NHS.”