Buying alcohol could be banned after 9pm in worst-hit areas after lockdown
The sale of alcohol could be banned after 9pm in some areas when the national lockdown comes to an end, a minister has hinted.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said that the government was looking at all sorts of measures for when the restrictions come to an end on December 2.
It is likely that there will be a return to the tiered system of local lockdowns which was in place before.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Robert Jenrick described measures previously taken in Nottinghamshire, including a ban on selling alcohol after 9pm.
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He said: ‘We are now reviewing the tiers so that when the national measures come to an end, we are able to move the country, we hope, back into the tiered structure.’
He said: ‘We will be looking at whether the measures we had in the old tiers were effective. Remember they varied quite a bit in different parts of the country.
‘In the new tiers, we would like greater consistency and we will have to see which measures were actually the most impactful on the virus.
‘In my own area of Nottinghamshire, the local council chose to go over and above and limit the sale of alcohol from off-licences and so on after a certain time, so that people didn’t go home and have parties or drink alcohol on the streets.
‘So there were some tweaks to the tiers that you’re seeing in some parts of the country and it’s that sort of thing that we now need to consider.
‘Was that a sensible move? If so, should we embed that in the new tier structure?’
He asked people to wait around a week or so when more information should be available.
Scientists warned a tougher tier system is needed until vaccines can drive back the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Jenrick said that ministers want to see a ‘significant easing’ of coronavirus controls when the lockdown in England is lifted on December 2, but suggested tighter controls may be needed in the top Tier 3.
It comes after Susan Hopkins, medical director of Public Health England (PHE) and chief medical adviser to NHS Test and Trace, said ministers would have to look at ‘strengthening’ the tier system.
Tier 1 restrictions that covered huge parts of England had ‘very little effect’, she said, adding that even Tier 2 only worked in some areas.
Documents released last week from the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), which reports to the Scientific Advisory Committee for Emergencies (Sage), said there was a ‘clear effect’ on infection rates from strict Tier 3 interventions but ‘much less from Tiers 1 and 2’.
SPI-M believe infections will rise at the same rate as before if the same three-tier system is brought back in on December 2.
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