Boris Johnson intends to return pub closing times to 11pm when lockdown ends
Boris Johnson is to give Britain a pre-Christmas boost by scrapping the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.
The Mail on Sunday understands that the Prime Minister intends to extend opening hours until 11pm when the second national lockdown ends on December 2. While last orders will still be called at 10pm, people will get an extra hour to finish drinks and meals.
As well as helping the hospitality sector, the plan – expected to be accepted in a crunch Cabinet meeting this evening – will help prevent crowds congregating on the streets at kicking-out time.
The 10pm curfew was widely criticised after its introduction in September and No 10 is determined to show it can both listen to its backbenchers and learn lessons when measures are unsuccessful. The proposal has widespread support. One Minister said: ’10pm last orders and being allowed to stay longer sounds eminently sensible.’
Mr Johnson will tomorrow tell the House of Commons and the nation in a televised address that lockdown will end, as promised, on December 2.
He will also set out details of a new winter plan to tackle Covid, including a revised three-tier structure for restrictions. The new framework will run until the spring in a move designed to give businesses and the public more confidence and clarity while work continues on approving vaccines and a mass immunisation project.
There is growing confidence that positive results from a trial of a vaccine being developed by Oxford University and the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca are ‘imminent’. Vaccines produced by Pfizer and the US firm Moderna have already been shown to be almost 95 per cent effective.
One Government insider said: ‘There is a possibility that one day soon we will wake up and Brexit will be done and we’ll have the Oxford vaccine.’
However, the revised tier system unveiled by Mr Johnson is expected to see more areas enter the highest third…
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