As had been heavily rumoured and "leaked" earlier on Saturday, a new national lockdown is on the way.
The lockdown will start on Thursday 5 November and is expected to last until 2 December.
This means that all hospitality - pubs, restaurants, bars and more - will have to close across the country (alongside non-essential retail). As during the last lockdown, takeaway and delivery services will continue - so that will provide something of a lifeline for an extremely beleaguered industry.
However - and this is a key addition - takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed, which feels like a completely unnecessary extra restriction. Lets see if that changes in the coming days.
The furlough system will also be extended until December and all this is due to be voted on by Parliament next week - but we expect that to be just a rubber-stamping exercise.
The response from the hospitality industry was - unsurprisingly - not exactly positive:
Two pubs, 45 staff. 50,000 customers safely served under restrictions since July. Not one positive test, yet hospitality gets blamed and has to pay the price. Universities, 60% positive test rate in many, they are left carry on regardless. How is that ok?— Oisín Rogers (@McMoop) October 31, 2020
So glad we ordered all those turkeys in for our nearly fully booked Thanksgiving— Emma Underwood (@eju86) October 31, 2020
Note that many restaurants are opening on Monday - Wednesday even if they weren't before - so there are many more chances to get that last dinner in before resorting to your own cooking (or delivery, of course).
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