London Pubs May Face A 9pm Curfew If Coronavirus Infection Rates Keep Rising

Pubs may be forced to close at 9pm if the Covid-19 infection rate doesn’t lower in the upcoming weeks.

The so-called “Rule of Six” aims to curtail the rising coronavirus infection rate by prohibiting social gatherings with more than six people (unless you’re hunting grouse, of course), in one of the first new restrictions applied to the UK since the lockdown eased. However, the UK government has warned that if the infection rate doesn’t begin to decrease in the next few weeks, more drastic measures will have to be taken. And government officials have suggested that curfews in pubs, bars and restaurants may be the “next logical step”.

“Why pubs?”, you may be thinking. Well, in theory, people are less likely to adhere to social distancing rules when they consume high levels of alcohol, and so forcing punters to head home at 9pm would hopefully prevent that from happening. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has claimed recently that the latest spike was mainly due to 20-30 year olds frequenting pubs, bars, and restaurants across the nation, and generally not taking precautions seriously enough. It’s almost as if there was a government funded scheme that actually encouraged people to eat and drink in public places, but I digress…

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Photo: Unsplash

This has already been tried and tested in Bolton, where pubs and bars are forced to close by 10pm and reopen no earlier than 5am. It’s still early days, but it has been pretty successful there so far. Hancock also highlighted that “In some countries they have seen a rise in cases, especially among younger people, taken action and that has turned the curve. That’s particularly true, for instance, in Belgium which we were very worried about a month or so ago but the case rate has come right down when they put a curfew in place.” That Belgian curfew has even been used as the basis for a proposed 10pm nationwide curfew here, according to some reports.

Pubs are furious at the idea, stating it could actually “risk destroying the British Pub.” Greg Mulholland of the British Pubs Confederation stated “If this happens, the industry will need a massive level of support, through grants and extended furlough.” There’s no need to panic just yet, as nothing has been set in stone – but exercising cautious social distancing at all times, and washing your hands frequently, is to be encouraged. In the meantime, we’ll be heading to the pub for a late night pint while we still can…

And if you need some inspiration, ‘Neverspoons’ is the handy map that will show you independent pubs close to Wetherspoons.

Secret London