Pubs, bars and restaurants to close at 10pm amid Covid fears

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce the curfew during a statement at 8pm today. Picture:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce the curfew during a statement at 8pm today. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be forced to close by 10pm from Thursday, Boris Johnson is set to announce.

The Prime Minister will address the nation later today to outline new measures to tackle the sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

The new rules will mean that pubs and restaurants in Suffolk will be forced to close at 10pm.

The county’s hospitality sector will also now be restricted by law to table service only.

MORE: ‘Work from home if you can’ - Further coronavirus measures to be put in place

Mr Johnson will chair meetings of Cabinet and the Cobra emergency committee - including the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - ahead of a live, televised address which is currently scheduled for 8pm.

The Prime Minister is expected to set out further ways the country can confront coronavirus in line with the scientific advice.

MORE: Suffolk gastropub boss: ‘We’re being made scapegoats’ over rising Covid rate

Yesterday, Brendan Padfield, owner of the Unruly Pig in Woodbridge, said it felt like the government was scapegoating pubs and restaurants, after health secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock refused to rule out the closing of pubs.

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“It’s disturbing to say the very least,” he said.

“This is a government riddled with U-turns that seems to lack direction.

“It does feel a bit as if we’re being made scapegoats.”

MORE: The schools in Suffolk where there have been positive coronavirus tests

The latest measures come after the UK’s four chief medical officers recommended raising the Covid alert level from three to four - the second highest - indicating the “epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially”.

And earlier on Monday, Sir Patrick Vallance - the chief scientific adviser - said the UK could see 50,000 Covid-19 cases a day by mid-October and a daily death toll of 200 or more a month later unless urgent action is taken.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: “No-one underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose to many individuals and businesses.

“We know this won’t be easy, but we must take further action to control the resurgence in cases of the virus and protect the NHS.”

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