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Government considering nationwide 10pm curfew

PUBLISHED: 11:09 09 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:41 10 September 2020

The public have been told to face masks and social distance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The public have been told to face masks and social distance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

The government is looking at imposing a nationwide curfew in the coming days in a bid to control the rise of the coronavirus infection rate.

Sources at Number 10 have confirmed that ministers are in discussions today about imposing a night-time lockdown from 10pm to 5am.

It could be another blow for many hospitality businesses which are only now getting back on their feet.

Many businesses are already struggling on reduced capacity as they have fewer covers to allow for social distancing.

MORE: Midwich post revenue of £302 million despite virus hit

The potential ban on the public being out and about from 10pm was met with concern but acceptance by Norfolk businesses.

Glen Sarabi is the manager of Truth, a new bar which has opened in the former first floor of Mantra on the Prince of Wales Road.

He said: “It would be detrimental to our business. We open until 2am on some nights and 3am on others. It would potentially hit our revenues by about 60pc.”

The club only reopened over the bank holiday weekend and was seeing bookings to the level of selling out over the coming weekends.

“We’d have to look at our opening hours to try and maximise on when we can open,” Mr Sarabi said. “We open at 8pm so would perhaps have to move that to earlier. I understand the government is doing what it can to keep people safe, but it would be damaging to a lot of businesses.”

He was backed by James Wingfield, who runs Frank’s Bar in the Norwich Lanes alongside co-owner Emma Williams.

Mr Wingfield said: “The government’s got to do what it has to for the public to be safe – but it’s not great news for business. We’re open until 11pm on week nights and 12.30am at weekends, and already we’re operating on less than half the covers of pre-lockdown.

“The Eat Out to Help Out scheme throughout August did really help, and we have got a licence for outdoor seating. We’d have to look at bringing back other revenue streams – like our DIY cocktail kits – to try and recover some of the revenue.”


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