‘No hard evidence’ behind curfew, admits Vallance

Sir Patrick Vallance has admitted there was “no hard evidence” behind the Government’s controversial 10pm curfew rule imposed on hospitality businesses under the previous tiered restriction system. 

Speaking to ministers on the Commons science committee yesterday, when asked by the committee whether there was any specific modelling behind the restrictions placed on the hospitality industry, Vallance said that curfew was more of a “policy decision” than that led by data. 

He said: “There’s no really hard evidence on curfew times…it’s not something you can model with a degree of accuracy and say, a particular time will give you a particular result.”

However, he did insist that he believes the policy was designed to limit the amount of time people could spend inside together and that it did play some part in lowering the R rate. 

He added: “What you can see across europe and indeed this country, is the notion that actually keeping people together longer in an environment where this is also alcohol is likely to increase risk and therefore that was a policy decision around trying to reduce the potential of interactions. 

“It is not something you can model with a degree of accuracy.” 

The curfew came under much criticism from the sector with UKH at the time calling for a Government “rethink”.  

Reacting to Vallance’s comments, Manchester’s night time economy adviser Sacha Lord tweeted: “BREAKING: If you ever needed any more evidence that Hospitality have been thrown under the bus:

“Sir Patrick Vallance has finally admitted that there was NO evidence to support a 10pm curfew. It was purely a policy decision. There you have it.”

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