Calls for ‘urgent review’ of 10pm closures

Calls for urgent review of 10pm closures

Calls for ‘urgent review’ of 10pm closures

The Mayor of Greater Manchester has called for an “urgent review” of the new 10pm closure times for pubs and restaurants.

Under new restrictions, all pubs, bars and restaurants in England and Scotland must close by 22:00.

They are also only permitted to provide table service.

But Mayor Andy Burnham has said the closures have resulted in a situation where instead, people are gathering in homes and supermarkets.

He added that these settings are now “packed out to the rafters” once the close, meaning that the new social-distancing rule has had an adverse effect.

Scenes of crowds forming after closing time have been filmed in UK cities including Liverpool and York.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Burnham continued:
“My gut feeling is that this curfew is doing more harm than good.
“I think there needs to be an urgent review of the emerging evidence from police forces across the country.”
He suggested that the rule might be more effective if a 21:00 cut-off on alcohol sales in shops was also imposed, therefore preventing the rush to off-licences after the pubs close.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood added that the earlier closing time “makes no sense”, claiming that recent data suggests only 5% of coronavirus outbreaks were linked to hospitality.
A spokesperson for Downing Street has confirmed that there are no plans to review the policy.
Meanwhile, Parliaments own bars were initially made exempt from the curfew.
But widespread backlash from MPs who have described the move as “outrageous”, “nonsense” and “appalling”, has meant that their alcohol sales have now also been restricted, and will be prohibited past 10pm.
Former Conservative minister George Freeman warned that “this sort of thing is what brings parliament into disrepute.”

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