Pubs and restaurants 'could be put under 10pm curfew to curb coronavirus spread'

Boris Johnson could impose a nationwide curfew for pubs and restaurants in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The move could see venues having to shut at 10pm or 11pm, due to concerns that people tend not to adhere to social distancing rules when they consume more alcohol.

One source described the measure as a “logical next step” which could be introduced if local lockdowns fail to bring the virus under control.

Alike measures were introduced in Bolton, where pubs must close between 10pm and 5am to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Pubs could be forced to close at 10pm or 11pm

Similarly, in July, a curfew was introduced in Antwerp, Belgium, between 11.30pm and 6am after a surge in Covid-19 cases.

It comes asuUp to 4.5 million people considered to be at risk of serious illness from Covid-19 could be asked to stay at home or given tailored advice on protecting themselves if cases of the virus return to dangerous levels, The Sunday Telegraph reports.

Initially, the shielding programme is due to operate in areas with sufficiently severe infection levels.

Police officers patrol as revellers crowd the street outside bars in the Soho area of London

But a Whitehall source said: “If the rate is so concerning across the whole of England we are prepared to do it on a blanket basis.”

Sir Mark Walport, the former chief scientific adviser, yesterday claimed the country was “on the edge of losing control” of the virus, as he urged people to work from home if they could.

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It comes as the so-called “rule-of-six” is set to come into place on Monday.

Under the new measures, groups of more than six people cannot meet socially – with some exemptions.

Britons will be slapped with fines of £100 if they meet in groups of more than six people, indoors or out, and double that for each repeat offence up to £3,200.

Weddings, funerals and organised Covid-secure team sports will be exempt but must remain limited to 30 people.

The number of new Covid-19 infections in the UK is on the rise, with cases doubling every seven or eight days.

Young people outside the Blue Posts pub in Berwick Street, Soho

On Saturday, 3,497 new coronavirus cases were registered – the highest Saturday rise since the earlier months of lockdown.

Public Health England had warned yesterday that while most new cases were younger people, it is seeing “worrying signs of infections occurring in the elderly.”

The R number – the estimated number of people each infected person goes on to infect – raised to between 1 and 1.2 for the first time since March.

Any number above one indicates the number of infections is increasing.



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