Drinkers and diners in Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester are enjoying their final orders this weekend as pubs and restaurants across the north of England are expected to close to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The government is concerned that nearly a third of Covid-19 infections are in the hospitality industry and is following the start of a 16-day shutdown of venues across Scotland’s central belt.
The bar staff in Glasgow and Edinburgh locked their doors at 6 p.m. on Friday as the new measures began. Other Scottish venues outside of the worst-hit areas were affected by reduced opening hours and not allowed to sell alcohol indoors.
There has been a 10 p.m. curfew on pubs and restaurants across England, Wales and Scotland for just over two weeks.
Northern England and the Midlands
The Council Presidents are opposed to the widely anticipated restrictions Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce on Monday, which are expected to affect the hospitality industry across much of northern England and the Midlands.
According to Economy Minister Nadhim Zahawi, these regions have a high rate of coronavirus transmission. According to the English chief doctor, 30% of infections are in the hospitality industry.
Bars, restaurants and cafes in Manchester were reportedly packed on Friday as night owls searched for venues ahead of the expected closure.
West Yorkshire council presidents have warned of a “devastating” impact on the city and town centers, while Newcastle Council chair Nick Forbes said tightening up would be a “travesty of justice” and the Gateshead Council chair , Martin Gannon, said it would be “counterproductive”.
The government has announced that it will pay two-thirds of workers’ wages in all companies that are forced to close, which has met with mixed reactions.
Mayors from the north of England said the new measures did not appear to go “far enough” to prevent “real hardship, job losses and business failures this winter”.
Through October 25, pubs, bars and restaurants will be closed in five areas of the health authority – Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Lothian, Ayrshire and Arran – affecting more than three million people. These venues offer takeout service, and cafes in the central belt are allowed to stay open during the day but are not allowed to serve alcohol.
In other parts of the country, eateries may be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to sell soft drinks and food and only serve alcohol outside until 10 p.m.
On Friday, Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the measure was necessary to prevent further deaths after another six coronavirus-related deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours. The decision is “terribly difficult”.
The Scottish government said it would provide an additional £ 40million to affected companies.
As of 6pm on Saturday, people are not allowed to enter or leave Bangor City without a “reasonable excuse” and can only meet people they do not live with in the open to respond to a “significant group of cases”, especially among young people .
It comes after Public Health Wales said the transmission of coronavirus in restaurants is an “ongoing problem”.
The director of the Covid-19 incident, Dr. Giri Shankar told BBC Radio Wales on Thursday: “At the moment there are still concerns about ongoing broadcasting by the community and not just pubs but all hospitality premises are at high risk – where such interactions take place they are continued concern, concern.
“If we monitor progress, more needs to be done when there is evidence of insufficient progress and if there is evidence of additional cases from other locations.”
Unlike the rest of the UK, drinkers and guests in Northern Ireland have an extra hour as the venues have a curfew from 11pm every night except Sundays at 10pm.
However, Health Secretary Robin Swann has warned that the country’s coronavirus situation is getting worse by the hour.
Mr Swann said he had been advised that further restrictions on Northern Ireland are likely to be required in the near future if positive cases continue their upward trend.