Hospitality curfew to see venues shut at 10pm

London outdoor campaign

London empty The on-trade in England was ordered to close from 20 March until 4 July

The announcement comes on the heels of the new ruling that pubs and restaurants across England must close by 10pm from this Thursday (24 September) under new attempts to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

His comments come ahead of an expected address later today from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing new coronavirus restrictions.

They warned that if the country continues on this trajectory, it could lead to 50,000 cases a day by the middle of October.

The new rules will mean that hospitality venues will have to be closed by this time in England - having yet further impact on an industry that was already hit badly by the lockdown earlier in the year.

"For restaurants, pubs all to be grouped together, to be closed at 10pm, I can not for the life of me understand what benefit that is going to have".

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But the fresh restrictions sparked anger from the hospitality sector, with Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, describing them as "another crushing blow" for many businesses.

He continued: "We need to balance the need for people to work and continue to go to school against taking steps to try and reduce the virus".

"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".

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.

"Without a proper financial support package, communities will lose their local forever, people will lose their jobs, and publicans their livelihoods. Together, we can keep Wales safe".

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The Institute of Economic Affairs think tank also criticised the plans.

These measures, said the trade bodies, would help pubs and hospitality businesses survive any further disruptions to their operations, enabling them to work towards a "safe and sustainable recovery heading into 2021 and beyond".

"While mandatory table service has been part of the successful Swedish approach and may have merit, the new closing time will be devastating to a hospitality sector that was already suffering after the first lockdown".

"CAMRA is now asking the Scottish Government to publish the evidence that pubs or restaurants are the source of more transmissions than other sectors across the country".

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