Pub-goers head home after being turfed out across England as 10pm curfew begins

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Revellers who headed into town and city centres to enjoy a few drinks tonight were turfed out of pubs and restaurants across England as the country’s first 10pm pub and restaurant curfew begins.  

Customers enjoying a few drinks with friends on outside tables in Soho, central London, were forced to leave ahead of the Government’s draconian curfew, widely seen by scientists as arbitrary.

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets.  

In Preston and Leeds, students celebrating their first term of university – pictured jumping into the air with glee as they enjoyed even a partial nightlife – carried boxes of drinks home with them.  

The strict measures, which also ban customers from ordering from the bar, were imposed by the Government this week amid Tory backbench fears that Boris Johnson was gearing up for a second national lockdown.    

As darkness descended on bars in Soho, London, revellers continued to enjoy drinks on outside tables, despite all pubs having to take last orders well before 10pm to ensure the doors are locked in time for the curfew.

Others enjoyed a drink at pub beer gardens in London Bridge while for others the restrictions caused a few cancellations as revellers feared their meals would be cut short.

In Preston and Leeds, students celebrating their first term of university - pictured jumping into the air with glee as they enjoyed even a partial nightlife - carried boxes of drinks home with them

In Preston and Leeds, students celebrating their first term of university – pictured jumping into the air with glee as they enjoyed even a partial nightlife – carried boxes of drinks home with them

In Preston and Leeds, students celebrating their first term of university - pictured jumping into the air with glee as they enjoyed even a partial nightlife - carried boxes of drinks home with them

In Preston and Leeds, students celebrating their first term of university – pictured jumping into the air with glee as they enjoyed even a partial nightlife – carried boxes of drinks home with them

Revellers who headed into town and city centres to enjoy a few drinks tonight were turfed out of pubs and restaurants across England as the country's first 10pm pub and restaurant curfew begins

Revellers who headed into town and city centres to enjoy a few drinks tonight were turfed out of pubs and restaurants across England as the country’s first 10pm pub and restaurant curfew begins

Revellers who headed into town and city centres to enjoy a few drinks tonight were turfed out of pubs and restaurants across England as the country's first 10pm pub and restaurant curfew begins

Revellers who headed into town and city centres to enjoy a few drinks tonight were turfed out of pubs and restaurants across England as the country’s first 10pm pub and restaurant curfew begins

Customers enjoying a few drinks with friends on outside tables in Soho, central London, were forced to leave ahead of the Government's draconian curfew, widely seen by scientists as arbitrary

Customers enjoying a few drinks with friends on outside tables in Soho, central London, were forced to leave ahead of the Government’s draconian curfew, widely seen by scientists as arbitrary

Revellers who headed into town and city centres to enjoy a few drinks tonight were turfed out of pubs and restaurants across England as the country's first 10pm pub and restaurant curfew begins

Revellers who headed into town and city centres to enjoy a few drinks tonight were turfed out of pubs and restaurants across England as the country’s first 10pm pub and restaurant curfew begins

Just hours after the announcement was made by the Prime Minister on Tuesday, food establishments slowly recovering from months of lockdown were faced with a wave of cancellations from concerned customers.

George Madgwick, who runs The Wicks Bistro, in Cosham, near Portsmouth, said he quickly had eight cancellations from worried diners who booked late-evening tables.

Mr Madgwick, 30, who started the business in February, a month before lockdown began, told MailOnline: ‘People don’t want to rush and are worried because it’s not last orders at 10pm, it’s everyone out the door at 10pm. 

‘It’s taken away our ability to do three sittings in a night. Around 50 per cent of our business comes in at 7.30pm and we get around 20-25 per cent for 5pm tables, so the 8.45pm tables is about 20-25 per cent of our nightly business.

‘We’ve already had eight cancellations since the announcement and in the last 24 hours we have had zero bookings after 8.30pm, when we would normally have three or four.  

Customers enjoying a few drinks with friends on outside tables in Soho, central London, were forced to leave ahead of the Government's draconian curfew, widely seen by scientists as arbitrary

Customers enjoying a few drinks with friends on outside tables in Soho, central London, were forced to leave ahead of the Government’s draconian curfew, widely seen by scientists as arbitrary

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Revellers who headed into town and city centres to enjoy a few drinks tonight were turfed out of pubs and restaurants across England as the country's first 10pm pub and restaurant curfew begins

Revellers who headed into town and city centres to enjoy a few drinks tonight were turfed out of pubs and restaurants across England as the country’s first 10pm pub and restaurant curfew begins

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Metropolitan Police officers in face masks and yellow high-vis jackets enforced the new coronavirus restrictions while bar and restaurant staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets

Customers enjoying a few drinks with friends on outside tables in Soho, central London, were forced to leave ahead of the Government's draconian curfew, widely seen by scientists as arbitrary

Customers enjoying a few drinks with friends on outside tables in Soho, central London, were forced to leave ahead of the Government’s draconian curfew, widely seen by scientists as arbitrary

The restrictions didn't stop students in Preston heading out to celebrate their first term of university - with groups pictured jumping into the air with glee as they enjoyed even a partial nightlife

The restrictions didn’t stop students in Preston heading out to celebrate their first term of university – with groups pictured jumping into the air with glee as they enjoyed even a partial nightlife

Students in Leeds glammed up for an early night of drinking in groups of less than six as they enjoyed their first time of university following covid lockdown

Students in Leeds glammed up for an early night of drinking in groups of less than six as they enjoyed their first time of university following covid lockdown

As darkness descended on bars in Soho, London, revellers continued to enjoy drinks on outside tables, despite all pubs having to take last orders well before 10pm to ensure the doors are locked in time for the curfew. Pictured, people sitting outside a pub in London Bridge

As darkness descended on bars in Soho, London, revellers continued to enjoy drinks on outside tables, despite all pubs having to take last orders well before 10pm to ensure the doors are locked in time for the curfew. Pictured, people sitting outside a pub in London Bridge

Revellers enjoy a drink or two as the clock counts down to the 10pm curfew. Last orders are expected to come well before 10pm to ensure bars are closed in time

Revellers enjoy a drink or two as the clock counts down to the 10pm curfew. Last orders are expected to come well before 10pm to ensure bars are closed in time

Things get raucous as the night continues on into the late evening. Revellers are expected to continue drinking in parks instead of heading home after curfew

Things get raucous as the night continues on into the late evening. Revellers are expected to continue drinking in parks instead of heading home after curfew

 

Women walked down a street in Leeds as they enjoyed an early evening out before all pubs and restaurants close by 10pm

Women walked down a street in Leeds as they enjoyed an early evening out before all pubs and restaurants close by 10pm

A police officer in Soho, London, bends down to pick up a motorcycle as officers prepare to help enforce the 10pm curfew

A police officer in Soho, London, bends down to pick up a motorcycle as officers prepare to help enforce the 10pm curfew

Students headed for a shortened drinking spree in Leeds before Mr Johnson's latest list of restrictions are put into place

Students headed for a shortened drinking spree in Leeds before Mr Johnson’s latest list of restrictions are put into place

Just hours after the announcement was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday, food establishments were faced with a wave of cancellations. Pictured, people drinking at a pub in London Bridge

Just hours after the announcement was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday, food establishments were faced with a wave of cancellations. Pictured, people drinking at a pub in London Bridge

Pitchers are lined up next to empty glasses as students enjoy a beverage or two during an early evening night out in Leeds

Pitchers are lined up next to empty glasses as students enjoy a beverage or two during an early evening night out in Leeds

People sit in a pub in London Bridge despite the fact pubs and restaurants in England will be closed by 10pm - after Mr Johnson announced the new curfew on Tuesday

People sit in a pub in London Bridge despite the fact pubs and restaurants in England will be closed by 10pm – after Mr Johnson announced the new curfew on Tuesday

The new rules come as the government aims to avoid a second national lockdown in the face of rising infection figures. Pictured, students enjoying a night out in Preston

The new rules come as the government aims to avoid a second national lockdown in the face of rising infection figures. Pictured, students enjoying a night out in Preston

Mr Madgwick said the cost to the business could be around £300-a-nigh, but added that the biggest impact of the curfew will be on his staff.

He said: ‘Instead of working until 11.30pm everything has to close at 10pm so it will be more like 10.15pm, which is an hour and a quarter less hours every day. 

‘It also has an impact on our suppliers because we will be using less. We use local suppliers so it has an impact down the chain as well.’

Meanwhile Dean Mac, owner and founder of cocktail bar 186 in Manchester also said he has lost business following the curfew announcement. 

He told MailOnline: ‘The 10pm curfew essentially means our bookings have been cut in half.

Students shivered in crop tops and jeans as they waited for entry to a bar in Leeds ahead of its first early night closure

Students shivered in crop tops and jeans as they waited for entry to a bar in Leeds ahead of its first early night closure

People sit in a pub in London Bridge. Dean Mac, owner and founder of cocktail bar 186 in Manchester also said he has lost business following the curfew announcement

People sit in a pub in London Bridge. Dean Mac, owner and founder of cocktail bar 186 in Manchester also said he has lost business following the curfew announcement

One girl in this group of four appeared to feel unwell as she walked with friends during a night out in Leeds earlier this evening

One girl in this group of four appeared to feel unwell as she walked with friends during a night out in Leeds earlier this evening

A group of four girls dressed up before taking to the town  in Leeds as nights out were brought forward by restrictions

A group of four girls dressed up before taking to the town  in Leeds as nights out were brought forward by restrictions

Groups of friends gathered as they headed into town for a night of drinking in Leeds city centre earlier this evening

Groups of friends gathered as they headed into town for a night of drinking in Leeds city centre earlier this evening

‘Since the announcement, we’ve had to follow up with each and every guest booked in and make them aware of the changes, including changing our entire infrastructure so we can look to open earlier and keep ourselves in operation.

‘Essentially we’ve had to cancel 50 per cent of our reservations as they are often made for around 9pm or 10pm.

‘To us it felt like some form of normality was returning and we were finding our feet again, only to have the rug pulled out from underneath us.

‘Six months’ of restrictions at a glance

  • All pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be subject to a 10pm curfew from Thursday, while premises must kick out all of their customers by the cut off point; 
  • The hospitality sector will also be restricted to table service only as the Government outlawed drinkers making a trip to the bar; 
  • All workers and customers in indoor hospitality settings will be required to wear masks except when they are seated to eat or drink;
  • All workers who can work from home are now being encouraged to do so from tomorrow; 
  • Fines for flouting the Rule of Six and not wearing a mask are increasing to £200 for first offences; 
  • The police will now have the option of asking the military for support with soldiers potentially being drafted in to guard protected sites in order to allow officers more time to crackdown on rule-breakers; 
  • The number of people allowed to attend weddings in England is being slashed to 15 from Monday but the number of people allowed to attend a funeral will stay at 30;  
  • Plans for the partial return of sports fans to stadiums have been paused;
  • Rule of Six exemptions are being tightened to ban indoor team sports like five-a-side-football matches  
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‘It feels like the hospitality industry has been used as a scapegoat by the government.’ 

Another, Jennifer Hughes, brand partner at Peru Perdu in Manchester, said: ‘We’ve had to cancel a lot of bookings and have changed our last seating time to 7.30pm – effectively cutting our capability in half.

‘A few customers have cancelled and have concerns about going to restaurants all together from the scare of the latest announcement.’

Meanwhile, James Dodd, a landlord for a pub in Cheshire which he did not wish to be named, has had to employ five new part-time staff to deal with the new table service requirements.

Mr Dodd, from Altrincham, said he believes his pub will survive but worries others in his area will go bust as so much of their business takes place after 9pm.

He said: ‘I don’t think the Government realise that this flimsy measure, which arguably will have little effect on the virus, will have catastrophic implications for the industry.

Meanwhile, Stuart Seydel, the landlord at the Old Duke in Bristol, said he had already spent thousands of pounds encasing his establishment’s bar in protective perspex but now must retrain his staff to wait tables.

The 45-year-old said: ‘For several months we’ve been training now and we’ve set up a kind of bubble around the bar to keep them safe,’

‘Now we have to send them out from beyond that to go and give table service… in my opinion, it’s making the workplace less safe.

‘With less than 48 hours notice, we suddenly have to completely change the way we operate… and we’re losing two hours of our prime trading time. It’s ridiculous.’

Mr Seydel said his pub usually closes at 12pm so the 10pm curfew could cost them ‘several thousand’ per week.

Tom Stainer, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), said the new measures pose a ‘very, very real risk’ to pubs and their staff. 

George Madgwick, who runs The Wicks Bistro, in Cosham, near Portsmouth, said he has already had eight cancellations from worried diners who had booked late-evening tables

George Madgwick, who runs The Wicks Bistro, in Cosham, near Portsmouth, said he has already had eight cancellations from worried diners who had booked late-evening tables

Outside tables in Soho were filled with people making the most of the evening before the pubs and restaurants were closed early to follow the new restrictions

Outside tables in Soho were filled with people making the most of the evening before the pubs and restaurants were closed early to follow the new restrictions

Revellers queued outside a bar as they waited for a table where they could sit and enjoy a couple of drinks before the curfew

Revellers queued outside a bar as they waited for a table where they could sit and enjoy a couple of drinks before the curfew

On Tuesday the Prime Minister set out a raft of measures designed to clampdown on the virus, which has so far claimed more than 40,000 lives and infected more than 400,000 people in the UK.

Table service rules guidelines ‘unclear and unfair’, say hospitality business owners

Cafe, restaurant and pub owners have criticised the new table service rule as unclear and unfair.

The Government announced that from Thursday, ‘licensed premises’ in the hospitality sector will have to serve customers at tables to avoid them congregating at tills and bars, as part of new coronavirus guidelines announced on Tuesday.

Cabinet minister Dominic Raab suggested this will include fast-food chains such as McDonald’s.

Cafe owners have suggested they will not be able to operate using table service only, while other chains have said they do not consider the rules to apply to them.

Atkinsons Coffee Roasters, which owns several cafes in Lancashire, has said the new table service rule shows the Government ‘does not understand or even acknowledge the cafe sector’.

A spokesperson said the current system of requiring customers to queue two metres apart while wearing a face covering, and having screens at their tills with cashless payments, is already Covid-secure.

They said: ‘It’s all about pubs and restaurants. We don’t need table service only. We already have Covid-secure systems in place.’

A spokesperson for Caffe Nero said they did not consider cafes to be included in the table service rule, while Costa Coffee could not confirm whether it would be serving customers at the tills or using table service. 

Trade association UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said policy changes ‘on a daily basis’ and inconsistencies between devolved governments are leading to confusion for hospitality bosses. 

She said: ‘Our understanding is that quick-service restaurants will be exempt from the new rules, but there is certainly a degree of confusion. Businesses have been given next to no time to implement rules that have been introduced with no consultation from the industry and we are rushing around to try to interpret them. These restrictions are going to have a huge impact.’

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As well as the curfew, which Mr Johnson is adamant that premises must follow and kick out all of their customers by the cut off point, the hospitality sector will also be restricted to table service only as the Government outlawed drinkers making a trip to the bar.

All retail workers and customers in indoor hospitality settings will be required to wear masks – except when they are seated to eat or drink – while all workers who can work from home are now being encouraged to do so from tomorrow.

Fines for breaking the rule of six and for failing to wear a face covering are increasing to £200 for a first offence.

The police will now have the option of asking the military for support with soldiers potentially being drafted in to guard protected sites in order to allow officers more time to crackdown on rule-breakers.

Members of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said the curfew would not be enough to slow the rate of infection.

But Mr Johnson insisted his approach was based on trying to ‘balance saving lives with protecting jobs and livelihoods’.

However, he said he reserved the right to ‘deploy greater fire power’ should it be necessary.

Mr Raab said a second national lockdown could be needed to control the spread of coronavirus if the latest measures do not work.

He told Sky News: ‘We’ve always said we’ve got a sort of repository of measures in the arsenal to take.

‘I don’t think we would speculate about what further could be done.

‘But the reality is they will be more intrusive or we could end up in a national lockdown. That is what we want to avoid.’

The Foreign Secretary said that if ‘everyone plays by the rules’ then a national lockdown may not be needed at Christmas.

He said: ‘Let’s hope that we can get through the winter months if we take these measures and if everyone plays by the rules, and we go into Christmas not needing to go into that national lockdown with all the impact on society and families but also the damage it would do to businesses.’

Mr Raab also defended the Government’s 10pm curfew on hospitality, despite figures suggesting just five per cent of coronavirus cases are linked to pubs, bars and restaurants.

‘We know that in bars and restaurants, particularly after people have had a few drinks, as you go into the later hours of the evening, that there’s a risk that the compliance with the guidance ebbs a little bit,’ he said.

‘So we’re taking this measure, we’re confident based on the evidence that we’ve got domestically and internationally that it’s one element of those that we need to make.’ 

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