Government considering nationwide 10pm curfew

Which lockdown rules are still in place in Suffolk? Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Which lockdown rules are still in place in Suffolk? Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The government is looking at imposing a nationwide curfew in the coming days in a bid to control the rise of the coronavirus infection rate.

Sources at Number 10 have confirmed that ministers are in discussions today about imposing a night-time lockdown from 10pm to 5am.

It could be another blow for many hospitality businesses which are only now getting back on their feet.

Many businesses are already struggling on reduced capacity as they have fewer covers to allow for social distancing.

MORE: Which Suffolk restaurants are extending the Eat Out to Help Out deal?

The potential ban on the public being out and about from 10pm was met with concern but acceptance by Suffolk businesses.

Mike Garling, who owns the LP nightclub in Bury St Edmunds, said a curfew would be a “disaster”.

“That would be a disaster and not something we’d want to see,” he said.

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“It would obviously be disastrous for the employees of the business because they’d lose hours.

“And for us the majority of our trade is post 10pm – probably 75% of our business.”

But Mr Garling said he could accept a curfew if it proved to be effective.

He said: “We want the pandemic to be over – or to get to a point where it’s manageable without interfering with our day to day lives.”

Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams, said: “It’s sad but I suppose the problem is the government have to find something that fits the weakest link.

“If it’s late night drinking that is the problem then you’ve got to penalise us all haven’t you?”

Mr Attfield said the ban would hit town centre drinking pubs the hardest.

“I may have a country pub with six letting bedrooms where in the autumn, people like to sit by the fire and have a whiskey before they go to bed.

“So it seems quite draconian if you have to send everyone to bed at 10pm.

“But I do also understand that the late night drinking culture in other venues may be different.

“So it’s a sad thing if it does come into place as far as I’m concerned.”