Boris Johnson SCRAPS 10pm pub curfew in new Tiers after lockdown
BORIS Johnson has SCRAPPED the hated 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants, giving boozer the chance to get into the Christmas spirit.
The PM has called time on the controversial kicking out time and instead plans to extend opening hours until 11pm.
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Last orders will be at 10pm under his proposed winter Covid plan – with the hope this will stop revellers congregating in crowds on the streets.
It will also give diners an extra hour to finish their meals and provide a boost for the hospitality sector, which has been ravaged by the pandemic.
Announcing the new tiers for local lockdowns, the PM told the House of Commons admitted today “lessons had been learnt” and they were changing the rules.
“The 10pm closing time on hospitality venues – we’re going to change that so that it is last orders at 10pm with closing at 11pm,” Mr Johnson said.
And Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs: “It is important to reduce the social contact on which this virus thrives, it is upsetting, it is frustrating but it is true.
“It’s clear from the evidence that we’ve already had that later in the evening and late at night, social distancing declines and transmission increases.”
The pubs measure — along with keeping all non-essential retail outlets open — is set to be part of the PM’s new three-tier approach to keep the virus under control.
And almost all shops could reopen, but bookies and pubs that do not serve food might remain closed in places with the highest infection rates.
The 10pm curfew was slammed after it was introduced in September after crowds gathered outside to drink and the Tube was compared to rush hour.
Boris Johnson also announced today:
- The Tiers system will be significantly toughened up – with new rules for Tier 2 and 3 but NO Tier 4
- Households will be only able to meet up in Tier 3 in outdoor spaces like parks
- Pubs and restaurants in the top Tier will have to stay shut – but drive-thrus and deliveries can continue
- Tier 2 pub rules will be toughened, with only places serving food with drinks allowed
- Casinos, bowling alleys and cinemas in Tier 3 will have to stay shut
- Gyms and beauty salons can open across the nation – and all shops will open their doors again
- Brits will be able to go to see Boxing Day football matches in the lower tiers
- Elderly Brits will be able to come out of care homes to spend Christmas with the family if everyone tests negative–
- New parents with a kid under one will be allowed to form support bubbles
The Tiers were massively beefed up today, meaning people in Tier 3 will be under draconian rules which mean pubs and restaurants can only serve takeaway.
Mr Johnson acknowledged the incredible heartache hospitality businesses have had to suffer, saying “2020 has been a tragic year in so many ways” which had caused many firms to hit the wall.
And under Tier 2 rules, people will need to order a “substantial meal” when ordering booze at pubs and restaurants – even if they are drinking outside.
But the tougher rules will be loosened to allow for families to reunite over Christmas.
Bans on mixing with other households in Tiers 2 and 3 will be suspended for as long as 5 days from Christmas eve through to the Boxing Day bank holiday on December 28.
Families will be able to join up in “festive bubbles” of as many as three households.
And they may even be allowed to dine out within those bubbles.
Mr Johnson said today: “We all want some kind of Christmas, we need it – we certainly feel we deserve it.
“But what we don’t want is to throw caution to the winds and allow virus to flare up and force us into lockdown in January.”
The PM said he would announce a full Christmas plan later this week.
The PM will convened his Cabinet yesterday before he formally announced his strategy today.
But it will face opposition from some Tories, who are set to be given a vote on the new measures next week.
Mr Johnson’s Covid Winter Plan will begin after the current national restrictions end on December 2.
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