Government plans 10pm curfew for hospitality

Cornelia Mascio
Settembre 24, 2020

The new measures like curfews at restaurants and bars are set to be enforced from Thursday across England, amid concerns that social distancing rules aren't respected at night.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the new restrictions - which will also ban people from ordering at the bar - when he addresses the nation on Tuesday evening.

Paul Foster, who owns Salt - a Michelin-starred restaurant in Stratford-upon-Avon, has told LBC the new measure doesn't make sense.

People can leave the pub at 10pm and then go to a friend's house and continue drinking - as long as they are a group of six, Michael Gove earlier confirmed.

"These restrictions will come as another crushing blow for many hospitality businesses struggling to recover, so it's crucial these new rules are applied with flexibility", Nicholls warned.

"Table service has been widely adopted in some parts of the sector since reopening but it is not necessary across all businesses, such as coffee shops".

"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", she said.

On the back of the gloomy outlook for the industry, they have collectively called on the government to "take drastic action", urging it to immediately put in place a new sector-specific employment support package and to extend the Value-Added Tax cut and business rates holiday for the sector.

"The additional restrictions announced this week place even further burdens on a sector that is operating with razor-thin margins and needs all the help it can get". The VAT cut for hospitality must be extended through 2021, as must the business rates holiday.

The Institute of Economic Affairs think tank also criticised the plans. At the time, the government moved to staged ditching of the strict regulations, gradually opening the public sector including pubs and restaurants, and later on - airports and schools.

Christopher Snowdon, the IEA's head of lifestyle economics, said: "A 10pm closing time for all pubs, bars and other hospitality seems to have emerged from a random policy generator".

In a response to questioning of the Government's decision to introduce the 10pm curfew that will no doubt anger the hospitality sector, Johnson said: "These are not easy decisions".

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