From today businesses such as pubs, restaurants, takeaways and cafes must shut at 10pm, but there are exceptions for some venues and shops, the government has announced
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Strict new curfews have come into force today in England meaning tens of thousands of businesses have to close at 10pm.
Those caught staying open beyond closing time face fines of up to £10,000 under new legislation which came into force at 5am today.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the move on Monday in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19, with the number of confirmed new infections reaching 6,178 yesterday.
Work canteens are also affected – unless they can show that there are no alternative options for staff.
Although cinemas and concert venues are affected by the curfew, they will be allowed to stay open beyond 10pm for performances to finish.
The new rules come on the same day the list of places where people have to wear face masks is also expanded.
Explaining the new rules, the Prime Minister told the House of Commons: “To help the police enforce this rule I’m afraid that means, alas, closing and not just calling for last orders because simplicity is paramount.
“I’m sorry this will affect many businesses getting back on their feet but we must act to stop the virus from being transmitted in bars and restaurants.”
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality said: “A hard close time is bad for business and bad for controlling the virus – we need to allow time for people to disperse over a longer period.
“Table service has been widely adopted in some parts of the sector since reopening but it is not necessary across all businesses, such as coffee shops.
“It is hard to understand how these measures are the solution to fighting the disease when Government data shows that just 5% of infections out of the home are related to hospitality.
“Where such restrictions have been put in place locally they have not cut infection rates, merely damaged business and cost jobs.”
News – Full list of places that have to close at 10pm under new coronavirus laws