Would you support a 10pm curfew to help reduce infection rates?
As the UK’s amount of coronavirus cases continues on a concerning upswing, the government is considering new measures to help prevent the virus from spreading, and forestall the advance of a second wave. Yesterday, news came that social gatherings of more than six people will be banned once more from Monday, and now murmurings are suggesting that a countrywide curfew is being considered to help curtail late-night gatherings.
Whether fairly or unfairly, the government has pinned the recent spike in coronavirus cases on people in their 20s and 30s attending pubs and parties in large groups. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether this is a sound conclusion or convenient scapegoat, but whatever the case, infection rates are once more on the rise – with UK cases recent breaching the 20 per 100,000 mark which the UK government has used as a metric for removing countries from the “safe to travel” list.
Now, multiple reports are suggesting that a nationwide curfew, set at around 10pm, could be a potential solution to reducing infection rates. It’s already been rolled out in Bolton (where cases have reached 120 per 100,000 people in a local outbreak), with bars and restaurants are now takeaway-only and must shut between 10pm and 5am, and ministers are reportedly weighing whether to extend the measure to the whole country. The measure has already seen some success in Belgium, which once boasted some of the highest infection rates in Europe, but has since brought the infection rate down.
The theory goes that preventing post-10pm gatherings (a measure which will presumably be implemented alongside police powers and fines) will reduce the chances of social distancing falling by the wayside as alcohol is consumed. A phenomenon which is not unique to young people, of course, but one which still needs to be avoided in order to keep people safe. The curfew solution is, at present, merely a discussion – but given yesterday marked the first nationwide tightening of measures for some months (and given the 2020 we’ve already had), it can’t be entirely ruled out.
We’ll keep you updated with any developments on this plan as they arise.
Also published on Medium.