Brits have been warned pubs could be forced to shut their doors at 9pm if the new Rule of Six continues to be ignored.
The clampdown comes after a threat to close boozers at 10pm arrived last week.
An extra meeting of the ‘Covid Gold Command’ of ministers has been arranged as fears grow that measures are not being taken seriously, according to The Sun newspaper.
From today, if you meet up with more than five friends or family members anywhere – indoors or outdoors – you could be dispersed by police or face a £100 fine.
There are exemptions for workplaces, schools, and places of worship.
The measures came in after a worrying spike in Covid-19 cases across the country.
It comes amid concerns that people tend not to adhere to social distancing rules when they consume more alcohol.
Thousands flouted the government’s new law today as they flocked to parks to soak up the sun.
Youngsters descended on parks in London, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Bristol to lap up the sun as the mercury hit 29.5c.
Now unless things improve, pubs could pay the price.
A 9pm closing time would be sure to infuriate the Treasury, who are trying to repair Britain’s ailing hospitality sector.
Greg Mulholland from the British Pubs Confederation said: “Most pubs are just about getting by and are scarcely profitable.
“If this happens the industry will need a massive level of support, through grants and extended furlough.
“Pubs have been diligently following the rules, making sure people santise and social distance, and that will be the same at 6pm, 9pm or 11pm.
“These proposals are unacceptable and if implemented the government risks destroying the Great British pub.”
It is part of a drive to get a grip on the country’s spiralling coronavirus cases after England’s R number climbed above one, meaning the virus is spreading.