Which businesses must close at 10pm and which are exempt from the curfew?

The UK government yesterday announced a new set of measures to help curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson first confirmed the new restrictions to MPs in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon, before speaking to the nation in a direct address in the evening.

As well as updated guidance on the rule of six, working from home and the wearing of face coverings, the new measures crucially include a 10pm curfew which is set to be imposed on hospitality venues from Thursday 24th September.

But which businesses are subject to the measure?

And which are exempt?

According to official guidance published to the gov.uk website yesterday, the government states that: “Businesses selling food or drink (including, cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, and adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls will be required to closed between 10pm and 5am from 24th September.

“This will include takeaways, but delivery services can continue after 10pm.”

Businesses Required to Close at 10pm

Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants)

Social Clubs


Bowling Alleys

Amusement Arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities)


Theme Parks and Adventure Parks

Bingo Halls


The guidance then goes onto explain that some businesses will be exempt from this.

It states that “some exemptions apply, including cinemas, theatres and concert halls which have started shows before 10pm, however they will not be permitted to serve food or drink to customers after 10pm” and explains that “businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises, can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service or drive-thru.”

Nightclubs, and sexual entertainment and hostess bars are still required to remain closed.

Also – from 28th September – a wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in youth and community centres, and close contact services will be required by law to follow COVID-19-secure requirements.

Oliver Dowden – Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – took to Twitter yesterday to shed more light on the businesses set to be affected and what it means for the industry.


For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.


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