politics

Pubs could stay shut until July as councils get powers to extend local lockdowns


Pubs and restaurants could now stay shut until July after councils were given powers to extend local lockdown rules, it has been reported.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the Government has quietly extended coronavirus lockdown laws allowing local councils in England the power to close pubs, restaurants, shops and public spaces until July 17.

The law allowing local authorities to close or limit access to premises or outdoor spaces in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus was first introduced last July.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday the government could not consider easing lockdown restrictions with infection rates at their current high levels, and until the vaccination programme is up and running.

The changes to the rules were made as part of a review of the third lockdown earlier this month by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the paper said.



The law was first introduced last July and has now been extended until July 17
The law was first introduced last July and has now been extended until July 17

The regulation, which applies to England only, was due to expire last week but has now been extended until July, near the date when school summer holidays begin.

Tory MP Mark Harper is reported to have said: “The extension of councils’ Covid powers until July will be of great concern to those worried about their jobs and businesses.

“Once the top four risk groups have been vaccinated and fully protected by March 8, assuming the Government hits the February 15 deadline, the Government must start easing the restrictions.

“Vaccinations will of course bring immunity from Covid, but they must bring immunity from lockdowns and restrictions too.

“People must see light at the end of the tunnel and feel hope for the future and businesses need to be able to plan our recovery.”

It comes after the latest figures for hospital deaths in the UK revealed another 623 people had died in England, as well as one further death in Scotland, 44 more in Wales and another 14 fatalities in Northern Ireland.

Matt Hancock went on to warn the Government was a “long, long, long way” from being able to lift coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England.





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