Pubs and restaurants in England are set to be hit with a 10pm curfew this week whilst switching exclusively to table service only.
The hospitality sector will be asked to close their premises by 22:00 from Thursday evening, according to the latest reports.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to confirm the new curbs later today (22 September); initially in the House of Commons before addressing the public in a televised broadcast in the evening.
The PM is also expected to encourage more people to work from home; retreating on the government’s ‘back to work plan’.
England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance hosted a live presentation on Monday to show the worrying trajectory of the virus in Britain.
Whitty called the virus a “six-month problem“, claiming the “seasons were against us” as we move into winter; a time where respiratory illnesses are more prevalent and COVID-19 could potentially spread further.
Vallance warned that cases could rise up to 50,000 per day by the middle of October if positive results continued to double week on week.
The alert level for the virus has now risen to Level 4 in England – meaning the “epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially”.
With regards to the closure of pubs and restaurants, a Number 10 spokesperson said: “No-one underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose to many individuals and businesses.
“We know this won’t be easy, but we must take further action to control the resurgence in cases of the virus and protect the NHS.”
Boris Johnson will address the public this evening at 8pm and explain the new measures in more detail.