The Mayor of London argues that the move would help struggling hospitality businesses.
At one minute past midnight on Saturday morning, London officially entered Tier 2 of the UK’s new tiered coronavirus alert system, a move which prevents us from mixing with other households indoors, or at pubs, bars, and restaurants. Remaining unchanged for the present, meanwhile, is the 10pm curfew for hospitality. However, with the repeated hits that the hospitality industry is taking during the coronavirus pandemic, calls to scrap the 10pm curfew are getting louder, with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan the latest to call for an end to the rule.
The 10pm curfew was introduced in part with the belief that people are less likely to socially distance and follow the guidelines when they’ve been drinking – a theory that does hold water. However, critics countered that it would entice people to simply get their drinking done earlier, encourage revellers to move the party to their houses, and – especially relevant in London – force weekend crowds into the streets and onto public transport at the same time. Meanwhile, capping the hours that pubs, bars, and restaurants could be open further cut into their profit margins, putting more pressure on an already beleaguered industry.
Logically, the end of the 10pm curfew means longer opening hours, and would allow more sittings to get more customers through the door. With Tier 3 – and the closure of pubs, bars, and restaurants that alert level mandates – beckoning for certain parts of the country (Manchester being the latest city to see a rise to the highest alert level), it’s a debate that’s not likely to subside any time soon. We’ll keep you updated with any new developments on the rule.
Also published on Medium.