Health

English pubs ordered to shut early as UK’s Johnson tightens Covid curbs

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"We're acting on the principle that a stitch in time, saves nine", Johnson said.

In March, Boris Johnson's address to the nation confirming the United Kingdom was being put into lockdown was watched by more than 25 million viewers, with a second address in May where he offered the first sketch of a road map for restarting the economy attracting nearly 30 million.

And while Johnson has said he does not want to see another lockdown, it has not been ruled out.

"If all our actions fail to bring the R (reproduction rate) below one, then we reserve the right to deploy greater firepower with significantly greater restrictions", he added.

The coronavirus-related death toll rose by 11 to 41,788, according to official figures released Monday.

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced even tougher measures than those imposed on England, banning visitors to homes and riding together in cars.

Boris Johnson has announced a raft of new measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus that could apply in England for six months. Only table service can be practiced there. The argument is that if people are consuming alcohol their resolve to social distance is weakened.

Incidentally, Leisure group Whitbread and pub chain Wetherspoons both announced widespread job cuts on Tuesday, while the British Beer and Pub Association said less than half of pubs were breaking even.

Rob Claassen is the director of The Salusbury Pub and dining rooms in North-West London, and is still working out what the restrictions will mean for his business and staff.

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Amateur indoor sports that involve more than six people will also end.

But a number of MPs are anxious about how restrictions - including the limiting of pub and restaurant opening hours and the ban on meetings of more than six people - are being imposed.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the UKHospitality trade body, warned: "These restrictions are a further, potentially fatal, blow for many hospitality businesses".

Johnson had told MPs as he outlined the new measures: "We always knew that while we might have driven the virus into retreat, the prospect of a second wave was real and I'm sorry to say that, as in Spain and France and many other countries, we've reached a perilous turning point".

New infections have been accelerating in recent weeks, leading scientists to say they could hit 50,000 per day by mid-October if left unchecked. "Wearing a compulsory mask will be extended to traders and employees of restaurants and cafes", explains journalist Alexandre Hébert on the 23 Hours set.

Johnson said the measures, which could be in place for up to six months, would be bolstered by greater penalties for infringements, a boosted police presence, and military back-up.

His amendment is created to grant MPs a vote on any new measures and with more than 40 Tories backing the move the Government could be in danger of having its working majority of 85 overturned.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer also urged the government not to end a furlough scheme at the end of October, accusing it of losing control of the coronavirus crisis.

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