Health secretary Matt Hancock has announced a 10pm curfew, starting tonight (18 September), on pubs, bars and restaurants in parts of north-east England.
Restrictions will apply in Northumberland, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Country Durham, Sunderland, Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, with an estimated two million people being impacted by the new measures.
Residents in these areas have been banned from socialising outside their households or social bubbles.
Hospitality venues must close between 10pm and 5am, with businesses being restricted to only offering table service during the curfew period.
Hancock introduced the strict measures after a rise in Covid-19 infections across the region to the dismay of the hospitality sector.
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, said: ‘‘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.
‘‘A curfew will prevent late-night bars and venues from trading at peak hours and will only drive more young people, frustrated by restrictions, to socialise past curfew at illegal gatherings in unregulated environments and households leading to further issues around transmission.’’