All pubs, bars, eating places and different hospitality venues in England will need to have a 22:00 closing time from Thursday, to assist curb the unfold of coronavirus.
The sector may even be restricted by legislation to desk service solely.
The measures will likely be set out by the prime minister in Parliament earlier than an tackle to the nation to be broadcast reside at 20:00 BST on Tuesday.
It comes as the UK’s Covid-19 alert level moved to 4, which means transmission is “excessive or rising exponentially”.
The federal government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned there could be 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October with out additional motion – which, he mentioned, may result in greater than 200 deaths per day by mid-November.
On Monday, an additional 4,368 each day instances and 11 deaths have been reported within the UK. There have been 3,899 instances reported on Sunday.
Additionally from 18:00 BST on Tuesday, four more counties in south Wales will face new measures, together with a 23:00 curfew for pubs and bars.
The UK cupboard will meet on Tuesday morning and Boris Johnson may even chair a Cobra emergency assembly – which will likely be attended by the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire.
Talking in regards to the new closing instances, a No 10 spokesperson mentioned: “No-one underestimates the challenges the brand new measures will pose to many people and companies.
“We all know this would possibly not be straightforward, however we should take additional motion to manage the resurgence in instances of the virus and defend the NHS.”
Tighter restrictions on pub and restaurant opening instances are already in place in components of north-east and north-west England, and Wales.
What distinction will it make?
Persons are understandably asking what distinction closing at 22:00 makes. Coupled with the desk service legislation, will probably be little greater than a marginal acquire.
However what ministers hope is that the transfer, together with the rule of six that got here into drive final week, will act as a warning to the general public that efforts to curb the virus should be redoubled.
What stays to be seen is whether or not another restrictions will accompany this transfer.
Behind the scenes each ministers and their advisers have argued over what’s the proper factor to do and the way a lot the general public will likely be prepared to tolerate.
It appears inevitable that the virus will proceed to unfold – that is what respiratory viruses do throughout winter, particularly one for which there’s restricted immunity and no vaccine.
However how rapidly and extensively is one thing nobody is aware of.
The chance of attempting to suppress the virus is the federal government will quickly discover itself having to make one other determination about additional steps.
How far are ministers ready to go? Each restriction that’s taken has a destructive consequence to society.
However the nature of the virus means lives will undoubtedly be misplaced the extra it spreads. Balancing these two harms will outline the subsequent six months.
Kate Nicholls, chief govt of commerce physique UKHospitality, mentioned the brand new guidelines must be “utilized with flexibility” and known as for extra assist for the sector.
“A tough shut time is unhealthy for enterprise and unhealthy for controlling the virus – we have to enable time for individuals to disperse over an extended interval,” she mentioned.
“Desk service has been extensively adopted in some components of the sector since reopening, however it isn’t essential throughout all companies, similar to espresso retailers.”
Michael Kill, chief govt of the Night time-Time Industries Affiliation, mentioned the announcement was “one more devastating blow” and warned it might end in a “surge of unregulated occasions and home events”.
Christopher Snowdon, head of life-style economics at free-market suppose tank the Institute of Financial Affairs, mentioned the transfer “appears to have emerged from a random coverage generator” and known as on the federal government to publish the proof upon which it was primarily based.
“Whereas obligatory desk service has been a part of the profitable Swedish method and will have advantage, the brand new closing time will likely be devastating to a hospitality sector that was already struggling after the primary lockdown,” he mentioned.
If Boris Johnson had decreed a yr in the past that he was going to name final orders on the pub at 10pm, the ravens may need left the Tower.
However given the horrible warnings from the federal government’s high scientists on Monday, the kind of strict measures that ministers had been discussing – and the extent of restrictions that many individuals are already residing with in a few of our cities and cities – you would possibly marvel if what the prime minister has ended up deciding is much less stringent than it may need been.
As we have now talked about many instances, Downing Avenue is all too conscious of the financial havoc the restrictions across the pandemic have brought about.
Logically, subsequently, it has all the time solely wished to take motion when it has felt completely pressing. It’s also the case that, as we enter a second surge, extra is known in regards to the virus itself.
Which means the federal government ought to have the ability to take a extra refined method to managing the unfold, relatively than blunt, blunderbuss nationwide measures.
No less than for now, the prime minister has concluded there’s a slender, however actual likelihood to place the brakes on the outbreak earlier than taking extra draconian steps.
New measures will also come into force in Lancashire, Merseyside, parts of the Midlands and West Yorkshire from Tuesday.
Different areas of England, Scotland and Wales are already below local lockdown, with restrictions together with a ban on mixing with different households.
The prime minister’s announcement on closing instances comes after a sequence of conferences over the weekend, together with with the federal government’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty, Chancellor Rishi Sunk and Well being Secretary Matt Hancock.