Pubs curfew
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Pubs ‘could face 9pm curfew’ if government’s new rule of six fails

The R rate has risen to between 1 and 1.2

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Pubs across the country might have to close their doors early under curfew if the government’s new ‘rule of six’ fails to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Bars, pubs and other venues could be restricted with a 9pm curfew, as the number of infections continues to rise.

Pubs curfew
Pubs and bars could face a 9pm curfew if the rule of six fails (Credit: Pexels)

What is the rule of six and does it affect pubs?

Under new rules brought in on Monday (September 14), people cannot meet up in groups of more than six. This includes at the pub.

Police can now break up groups and issue fines of up to £100.

Read more: Coronavirus: Up to 4.5 million Brits ‘could be told to shield again’

Workplaces, schools and places of worship are exempt from the rule. It applies to gatherings in places such as pubs, restaurants, parks and even private homes.

Pubs curfew
At the moment, people are not allowed to gather in groups of more than six, except at work, school and places of worship (Credit: Pexels)

According to The Sun, ministers are holding a special meeting today (Tuesday, September 15) to discuss the rise in COVID-19 cases and what to do about it.

One insider told the newspaper that curfew is “hurtling up the agenda”.

If this happens, the industry will need a massive level of support.

But those in the hospitality industry are warning that the government will have to step up with a “massive level of support” should it impose a curfew.

Greg Mulholland, of the British Pubs Confederation, said: “If this happens, the industry will need a massive level of support, through grants and extended furlough.

Pubs
An industry leader had warned of the damaging effect a curfew could have (Credit: Pexels)

A curfew ‘risks destroying’ pubs

“Pubs have been diligently following the rules, making sure people sanitise and social distance. That will be the same at 6pm, 9pm or 11pm.

“These proposals risk destroying the Great British pub.”

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing confirms the show will have an audience in this year’s show 

News of the curfew comes amid reports the R rate rose to between 1 and 1.2 for the first time since March. The R rate indicates the number of people someone with COVID-19 is likely to infect.

On Monday, the UK saw a further 2,621 confirmed cases of coronavirus. That number represented a dip in positive tests, following three consecutive days of over 3,000.

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