Hints that 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants will be scrapped

Boris Johnson is thought to be outlining his new ‘winter Covid plan’ imminently, which will include new curfew rules.

The current 10pm curfew for pubs, restaurants and bars could be scrapped to allow people an extra hour to finish their food and drinks.

The Prime Minister is expected to unveil a plan that while last orders must be called at 10pm, people can stay in the pub or restaurant until 11pm.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed to The Andrew Marr Show this morning that plans to change the curfew period for pubs and restaurants is "definitely something we're looking at".

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He also warned that "Christmas is not going to be normal" and that more areas are expected to enter higher tiers next month.

The news comes as Liverpool's coronavirus infection rate fell to its lowest level for two months.

Mr Sunak said the localised tiered system is a "far better way" to tackle Covid-19 as he confirmed the Prime Minister's plans, which were expected to be approved by the Cabinet on Sunday.

"I think, frustrating as it is for all of us, Christmas is not going to be normal this year," he told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday.

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"But that said, the Prime Minister and everyone else, we're looking at ways to see how families can spend some time with each other over (the) Christmas period.

"Obviously that's something that we would like to do and it's been a difficult year for all of us, but as I said it's not going to be a normal Christmas this year."

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Sage member Professor Calum Semple said that any change to the 10pm curfew would be better informed to avoid everyone filling the streets at closing time.

"History has got a lot to teach us, in the years of prohibition they tried to change the hours, they tried to say you could only drink if you had a meal, and everyone is very inventive and finds ways around it," he said.

"Fiddling at the edges of something like drinking-up times or pubs' closing times is simply not an effective mechanism."

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