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Coronavirus: Night owls hit the city ahead of England's first curfew for pubs and restaurants at 10 p.m.


In the early evening, the night owls drove into town to drink a few hours before England's first pub and restaurant curfew at 10 p.m.

The new rules, which also forbid customers from ordering at the bar, are due to the fact that the government wants to avoid a second national ban in view of the increasing number of infections.

But the restrictions didn't stop students in Preston and Leeds from celebrating their first semester at university – with groups leaping for joy and even enjoying some of the nightlife.

When it got dark in the bars in Soho, London, the revelers continued to enjoy drinks at the outside tables, although all pubs had to take their last orders before 10 p.m. to ensure the doors were locked in time for the curfew.

Others enjoyed a drink in the pub beer gardens in London Bridge while for others the restrictions caused some cancellations as revelers feared their meals would be canceled.

The restrictions didn't stop Preston students from celebrating their first semester at university – with groups jumping for joy and even enjoying some of the nightlife

Students in Leeds gathered for an early night of drinking in groups of less than six as they enjoyed their first time at university after a secret lockdown

Students in Leeds gathered for an early night of drinking in groups of less than six as they enjoyed their first time at university after a secret lockdown

When it got dark in the bars in Soho, London, the revelers continued to enjoy drinks at the outside tables, although all pubs had to take their last orders before 10 p.m. to make sure the doors were locked in time for the curfew. In the picture, people are sitting outside a pub in London Bridge

When it got dark in the bars in Soho, London, the revelers continued to enjoy drinks at the outside tables, although all pubs had to take their last orders before 10 p.m. to make sure the doors were locked in time for the curfew. In the picture, people are sitting outside a pub in London Bridge

Night owls enjoy a drink or two while the clock counts down until curfew at 10 p.m. The last orders are expected to come in well before 10pm to ensure the bars close on time

Night owls enjoy a drink or two while the clock counts down until curfew at 10 p.m. The last orders are expected to come in well before 10pm to ensure the bars close on time

Things get noisy as the night goes on into late evening. Revelers are expected to continue drinking in parks instead of heading home after the curfew

Things get noisy as the night goes on into late evening. Revelers are expected to continue drinking in parks instead of heading home after the curfew

Just hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement in a televised address to the nation Tuesday, food companies slowly recovering from months of total Covid lockdown were faced with a wave of cancellations from affected customers.

George Madgwick, who runs The Wicks Bistro in Cosham, Portsmouth, said he quickly received eight rejections from worried guests who booked tables late at night.

30-year-old Madgwick, who started business in February, a month before the lockdown began, told MailOnline: “People are not rushing and are concerned because it is not the last 10pm orders, but all of them 22 O `clock.

“It took away our ability to do three sessions in one night. Around 50 percent of our business is done at 7:30 p.m., and we get around 20 to 25 percent for tables at 5:00 p.m. So the tables at 8.45pm make up about 20 to 25 percent of our nightly business.

& # 39; We have already had eight cancellations since the announcement and in the past 24 hours we have had no bookings after 8:30 p.m. when we would normally have three or four.

Women were walking down a street in Leeds enjoying an early evening in front of all the pubs and restaurants that closed around 10pm

Women were walking down a street in Leeds enjoying an early evening in front of all the pubs and restaurants that closed around 10pm

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

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

The students set off on a curtailed shooting spree in Leeds before the latest list of Mr. Johnson's restrictions was put in place

The students set off on a curtailed shooting spree in Leeds before the latest list of Mr. Johnson's restrictions was put in place

Just hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday, grocery businesses were faced with a wave of cancellations. In the picture people drinking in a pub in London Bridge

Just hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday, grocery businesses were faced with a wave of cancellations. In the picture people drinking in a pub in London Bridge

Jugs sit next to empty glasses while students enjoy a drink or two on an early evening in Leeds

Jugs sit next to empty glasses while students enjoy a drink or two on an early evening in Leeds

People are sitting in a pub in London Bridge even though pubs and restaurants in England are closed until 10 p.m. - after Mr Johnson announced the new curfew on Tuesday

People are sitting in a pub in London Bridge even though pubs and restaurants in England are closed until 10 p.m. – after Mr Johnson announced the new curfew on Tuesday

The new rules come because the government wants to avoid a second national lockdown in view of the increasing number of infections. In the picture, students enjoy an evening out in Preston

The new rules come because the government wants to avoid a second national lockdown in view of the increasing number of infections. In the picture, students enjoy an evening out in Preston

Mr Madgwick said the cost to the company could be around £ 300 a night, but added that the biggest impact the curfew will have on its employees.

He said, “Instead of working until 11.30pm, everything has to close at 10pm so it's closer to 10:15 pm, which is an hour and a quarter fewer hours a day.

& # 39; This also affects our suppliers as we will be consuming less. We use local suppliers so that this also affects the entire chain. & # 39;

Meanwhile, Dean Mac, owner and founder of Manchester Cocktail Bar 186, said he lost business following the curfew announcement.

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

The students shivered in crop tops and jeans as they waited to enter a bar in Leeds before closing in the early evening

The students shivered in crop tops and jeans as they waited to enter a bar in Leeds before closing in the early evening

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

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

One girl in this group of four seemed uncomfortable while out walking with friends one night in Leeds tonight

One girl in this group of four seemed uncomfortable while out walking with friends one night in Leeds tonight

A group of four girls who had dressed up before going into Leeds city center at night were preferred by restrictions

A group of four girls who had dressed up before going into the Leeds city center at night were preferred by restrictions

Groups of friends gathered as they went into town tonight for a night drink in Leeds city center

Groups of friends gathered as they went into town tonight for a night drinking in Leeds city center

& # 39; Since the announcement, we've had to track every guest booked and alert them of the changes, including changing all of our infrastructure so we can try to open and stay operational earlier.

“Essentially, we had to cancel 50 percent of our reservations, as these are often made around 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m.

To us it felt like some form of normalcy was returning and we found our feet again only to pull the rug out from under us.

"Six months" restrictions at a glance

  • All pubs, bars and restaurants in England must be closed from Thursday at 10:00 p.m., while the premises must kick all customers out by the closing date.
  • The hospitality sector will also be limited to table service only, as the government has banned drinkers taking a trip to the bar.
  • All indoor employees and customers must wear masks unless they are seated to eat or drink.
  • All employees who can work from home will be asked to do so from tomorrow.
  • The fines for disregarding the rule of six and missing a mask increase to £ 200 for first offenses.
  • Police will now have the option to call on the military for assistance, with soldiers possibly being called in to guard protected areas so that officers have more time to take action against violations.
  • The number of people allowed to attend weddings in England will be reduced to 15 from Monday, but the number of people allowed to attend a funeral will remain at 30;
  • Plans for partial return of sports fans to the stadiums have been halted;
  • The exception to the rule of six is ​​tightened to ban team sports such as five-on-five football games

"It seems 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 had to cancel a lot of bookings and changed our last seat time to 7.30pm – which effectively cut our capacity in half."

"Some customers have canceled due to fear of the latest announcement and are concerned about dining out together."

Meanwhile, James Dodd, a proprietor of a Cheshire pub he refused to name, had to hire five new part-time workers to meet the new table service requirements.

Mr Dodd of Altrincham said he believed his pub will survive but feared that others in his area would go broke with so much of their business going on after 9pm.

He said, "I don't think the government realizes that this weak measure, which is likely to have little impact on the virus, will have catastrophic effects on the industry.

Meanwhile, Stuart Seydel, the landlord of the Old Duke in Bristol, said he had already spent thousands of pounds protecting his company's bar in Plexiglas but now he needs to retrain his staff to wait for tables.

The 45-year-old said: "We've been training for a few months now and we've put some kind of bubble around the bar to protect it."

“Now we have to send them out from beyond to do table service … in my opinion, it makes the workplace less secure.

& # 39; With less than 48 hours notice, we suddenly have to completely change the way we work … and we lose two hours of our main trading time. It's ridiculous. & # 39;

Mr Seydel said his pub usually closes at 12 noon, so the 10pm curfew could cost them "several thousand" a week.

Tom Stainer, director of the Real Ale (Camra) campaign, said the new measures pose a "very, very real risk" for pubs and their employees.

George Madgwick, who runs The Wicks Bistro in Cosham, Portsmouth, said he has already received eight rejections from concerned guests who booked tables late at night

George Madgwick, who runs The Wicks Bistro in Cosham, Portsmouth, said he has already received eight cancellations from worried guests who booked tables late at night

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

The outside tables in Soho were full of people making the most of the evening before the pubs and restaurants closed early to comply with the new restrictions

The night owls stood in line in front of a bar and waited for a table to enjoy a few drinks before the curfew

The night owls stood in line in front of a bar and waited for a table to enjoy a few drinks before the curfew

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister tabled a series of measures to fight the virus that have killed more than 40,000 people and infected more than 400,000 people in the UK.

Table service rule guidelines "Unclear and unfair," say hospitality owners

Cafe, restaurant and bar owners criticized the new table service rule as unclear and unfair.

The government announced that as of Thursday, "licensed space" in the hospitality industry will have to serve customers at tables to prevent them from gathering at checkouts and bars. This is part of the new coronavirus guidelines announced on Tuesday.

Cabinet Minister Dominic Raab suggested including fast food chains like McDonald & # 39; s.

Cafe owners have suggested that they not only work with table service, while other chains have stated that they do not respect the rules that apply to them.

Atkinsons Coffee Roasters, which owns several cafes in Lancashire, said the new table service rule shows that the government "does not understand or even recognize the coffeehouse sector."

A spokesman said the current system of queuing customers two meters apart while wearing face covering and having screens with cashless payments at their checkouts is already Covid-proof.

They said, “It's all about pubs and restaurants. We don't just need table service. We have already installed Covid-safe systems. & # 39;

A spokesman for Caffe Nero said it did not consider cafes as part of the table service rule, while Costa Coffee could not confirm whether it would serve customers at the checkouts or use table service.

Kate Nicholls, UK director of Hospitality Hospitality, said policy changes "daily" and inconsistencies between decentralized governments are creating confusion among hospitality executives.

She said, “We understand that fast food restaurants are exempt from the new rules, but there is certainly some level of confusion. Companies have been given next to no time to implement rules that have been introduced without consulting the industry and we are rushing to interpret them. These restrictions will have a huge impact. & # 39;

As well as the curfew that Mr Johnson is adamant that the premises all their customers up to the limit, the The hospitality industry will also be limited to table service only, as the government has banned drinkers taking a trip to the bar.

All indoor retail workers and indoor hospitality customers must wear masks – except when they are sitting to eat or drink – while all employees who can work from home will be encouraged to do so starting tomorrow.

The fines for violating the Rule of Six and missing face covering increase to £ 200 for a first offense.

Police will now have the option to call on the military for assistance, with soldiers possibly being called in to guard protected areas so that officers have more time to take action against violations.

Members of the government's emergency scientific advisory group (Sage) said the curfew would not be enough to slow the rate of infection.

However, Mr. Johnson insisted that his approach was based on an attempt to "balance saving lives with protecting jobs and livelihoods".

However, he said he reserved the right to "use greater firepower" if necessary.

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

He told Sky News: “We always said we have some sort of repository for actions in the arsenal.

“I don't think we'd speculate about what else could be done.

"But the reality is that they will be more intrusive or we could end up in a national lockdown." We want to avoid that. & # 39;

The foreign minister said if "everyone is playing by the rules" a national lockdown may not be required at Christmas.

He said, “Let's hope that if we take these measures and if we all stick to the rules and we go into the Christmas season we can get through the winter months without going into this national lockdown with all the implications for society and families but also the damage it would do to businesses. & # 39;

Mr Raab also defended the government's 10 p.m. curfew on hospitality, though figures say only five percent of coronavirus cases are related to pubs, bars and restaurants.

"We know that in bars and restaurants, especially after people have had a few drinks in the late evening hours, there is a risk that compliance may deteriorate a bit," he said.

"We are taking this action and are confident, based on the evidence we have at home and abroad, that it is an element of what we must do."

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