Curfew restrictions imposed on hospitality in north-east England

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Curfew restrictions imposed on restaurants, pubs and bars in north-east England

Related tags Coronavirus Bar Restaurant Pub lockdown Government

A 10pm curfew on pubs, restaurants and bars in parts of north-east England has been announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

All hospitality businesses will also be restricted to offering table service only under the new measures, which were first briefed last night​.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Health Secretary confirmed that from tomorrow (Friday 18 September) restrictions would apply in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham.

Late-night restrictions on operating hours will be introduced in all these areas, meaning hospitality venues must close between 10pm and 5am.

Residents have also been banned from socialising with people outside of their household or support bubble.

Nearly two million people in total will be impacted by the restrictions. 

Hancock said the decision to impose tighter restrictions comes after a 'concerning rise' in Coronavirus infections in parts of north-east England, with Sunderland recording an incidence rate of 103 postive cases per 100,000 people.

And in South Tyneside, Gateshead and Newcastle, the figures are all above 70. 

"We've seen local action work well in some parts of the country, and now we must take further action," he said. 

Voices from within the hospitality sector have reacted in dismay at the news, saying the restrictions will cause serious damage to businesses.

"Further restrictions on the businesses that are open will have a devastating impact on the sector and will only compound the current issues faced by businesses that are closed and unable to open," says Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).

"A curfew will prevent late-night bars and venues from trading at peak hours and will only drive more young people, frustrated by the restrictions, to socialise past curfew at illegal gatherings in unregulated environments and households leading to further issues around transmission."

Earlier this month, hospitality venues in Bolton were restricted to offering takeaway-only​ to try and curb the spread of Covid-19 locally.

A similar curfew on operating hours was also put in place. 

Meanwhile, pubs and restaurants in the Welsh borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf have been ordered to shut at 11pm from today (17 September), after registering a rise in Coronavirus causes.

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