The government have announced that, from this Thursday (24 September), all pubs and restaurants in England will have a 10pm curfew. That means a restaurant or pub has to be shut by 10pm - not just calling last orders.
There had been talk brewing about a potential London curfew all day, but the confirmation only came right at the end of the day - almost 48 hours exactly before the curfew actually begins and, cunningly too late for the evening news bulletins. What we perhaps weren't expecting was that the 10pm closing time would be enforced across the country.
In addition, table service will become the law (similar to what's currently running in Ireland). This is already something that's pretty much in place across most restaurants and many pubs - today's news is just making it a legal obligation.
The rules are to be discussed in parliament tomorrow (Tuesday), with another broadcast by Boris at 8pm the same day.
Obviously this is not great news at all for an industry that is already struggling - and the response on Twitter has not been kind, particularly given the blanket, sledgehammer approach.
Restaurants and pubs to close at 10pm? Just a quick reminder, according to PHE pic.twitter.com/AEb2VfO6sy— Lisa Markwell (@lisamarkwell) September 21, 2020
was boris johnson bitten by a restaurant as a boy— Ed Cumming (@edcumming) September 21, 2020
CORONAVIRUS IS AROUND DURING THE DAY AS WELL. IT'S NOT FUCKING DRACULA. https://t.co/roWTsn8Pqz— Adam Kay (@amateuradam) September 21, 2020
If you opened a restaurant serving only oysters and after 8 weeks there was no food poisoning and then you added steak tartare to the menu and there was a bunch of food poisoning you would be fully moronic to deduce that oysters were the problem @BorisJohnson #savehospitality— James Ramsden (@JamesRamsden_) September 21, 2020
I’m so confused by these new restrictions, all they seem to do is destroy the hospitality industry? The figures show infections overwhelmingly coming from care homes and education, but let’s punish hospitality because it somehow seems like it’s the problem?! Make it make sense— Edd Kimber (@TheBoyWhoBakes) September 22, 2020
“I wonder what restaurateurs’ WhatsApp messages between themselves are like today?” pic.twitter.com/CtgY6ZYuF3— Hawksmoor (@HawksmoorLondon) September 22, 2020
Although maybe there are some positives to be gained from this...
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