Boris Johnson 'to announce 10pm curfew on pubs across England'
Boris Johnson is reportedly set to announce a 10pm closing time for pubs across England tomorrow.
A nationwide curfew will be imposed on the hospitality industry as one of a package of measures to tackle soaring coronavirus cases, according to The Sun.
The newspaper claims that pubs, bars and restaurants could be forced to shut completely in virus hotspots.
Where venues are allowed to remain open, police will be stepping up patrols to make sure they are obeying the ‘rule of six’.
Businesses that flout the lockdown measures face being hit with a fine and forced to shut. The ‘enforcement blitzkrieg’ could also see groups of seven or more people broken up and hit with a financial penalty.
A senior Whitehall source said: ‘Police and councils will be told to act immediately when they see the rules being broken.
‘Lots of pubs and restaurants are following the law, but others are not.
‘Those that flout it will be shut down.’
It is unclear if the curfew will apply to the devolved nations, which have taken their own path to easing and reimposing lockdown in recent months.
The Sun reports that the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were briefed on the restrictions, suggesting the curfew could be implemented across the whole of the UK.
This evening Northern Ireland’s first minister Arlene Foster said that people would be banned from mixing with other households inside.
Around a third of the population of Wales will be under a form of local lockdown from Tuesday after a huge spike in cases there.
Tighter restrictions in Scotland are also expected ‘within days’, according to reports.
The measures come amid dire warnings from the government’s top scientists about the resurgence of the virus in the UK.
Chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said infections were doubling every week and could reach 50,000 per day by mid-August if urgent action isn’t taken to slow the spread of the disease.
The coronavirus ‘alert level’ has been raised from level 3 to level 4 for the first time since June due to fears about the rising infection rate.
Boris Johnson is set to chair his first emergency Cobra meeting in four months on Tuesday in a sign that new lockdown-style measures are on the way.
The significance of a Cobra (which stands for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A) meeting is that it is usually called ahead of significant decisions being taken.
It is unclear what new measures could be introduced in the coming days and weeks, but reports suggest the PM is considering a two week ‘circuit breaker’ national lockdown, a curfew on pubs and a ban on households mixing.
New measures are expected to be confirmed by Mr Johnson in an address to the nation tomorrow.
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