Pubs and restaurants must now close at 10pm in England - here’s when the new rules come into force

Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 10:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 10:05 am
The government has announced that pubs and restaurants across England will soon have to close at 10pm, in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus (Photo: Shutterstock)
The government has announced that pubs and restaurants across England will soon have to close at 10pm, in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus (Photo: Shutterstock)

The government has announced that pubs and restaurants across England will soon have to close at 10pm, in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

This new rule was already the case for some areas with local lockdown restrictions in place, but it is now set to be a blanket change across the country.

New changes coming into place

Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues will have to close at 10pm from Thursday 24 September 2020.

Alongside this, the hospitality sector will be required by law to provide table service only.

The changes come after the chief medical officers for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales raised the level from three to four, meaning transmission is "high or rising exponentially.”

Working from home

The government has also changed its stance on returning back to the office, with Michael Gove telling Sky News there would be a “shift in emphasis” in regards to this.

The Cabinet Officer minister said that "if it is possible for people to work from home they should do so.”

Mr Gove explained, "They are reluctant steps that we're taking, but they're absolutely necessary because as we were reminded yesterday and as you've been reporting, the rate of infection is increasing, the number of people going to hospital is increasing, therefore we need to act.”

Boris Johnson will chair a cabinet meeting this morning, 22 September, where ministers will be expected to sign off Downing Street's proposals.

The Prime Minister will then chair an emergency meeting of the COBRA committee of senior ministers and officials, alongside the first ministers of Scotland and Wales, Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford, and the first minister and deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill.

Mr Johnson will then make a statement in the Commons at 12.30pm, before a Downing Street broadcast to the nation at 8pm.