LONDON (Reuters) – All pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality locations across England are due to close at 22:00 on Thursday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson fights a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Johnson, who will address parliament and the nation on Tuesday, will also say the hospitality sector will be legally restricted to table serving, according to excerpts from his remarks provided by his office on Downing Street on Monday.
“No one underestimates the challenges that the new measures will pose to many people and businesses. We know this will not be easy, but we need to take further action to control the resurgence of the virus and protect the NHS, ”he said.
Shares on the lists of British pubs and restaurant groups fell sharply on Monday in anticipation of the move. Although there is no consistent policy for the country, the relocation will increase the closure time by at least an hour for most areas.
Britain will face an exponentially rising death toll from COVID-1
The alert level for COVID-19 has also moved from Level 3 to Level 4 as data show that the number of cases is growing rapidly. Level 4 indicates that the virus is in general circulation and transmission is high or increasing exponentially.
The new rules represent another step backwards in Britain’s recovery from a pandemic that has caused more deaths and more economic damage to the country than its European peers, and has drawn widespread criticism of Johnson’s leadership.
On Monday, Northern Ireland said it would extend existing restrictions in some settlements for households mixing indoors across the province from Tuesday as Wales hit curbs on four more areas. Scotland has said that additional restrictions will almost certainly be imposed.
Johnson will address the nation at 1900 GMT on further ways to combat the virus.
Report by James Davey; Edited by Cynthia Osterman