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Government extends council lockdown powers until July

25 January 2021 by
Closed pub

The government has extended legislation giving local authorities the power to close venues, including restaurants, pubs and other hospitality spaces, until 17 July.

The regulation applies to England and had been due to expire on 17 January. Lockdown measures in England are due to be reviewed next month, although last week the prime minister said it was "too early to say when we'll be able to lift some of the restrictions".

According to The Telegraph, the changes to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020 were made as part of a review of the third lockdown by health secretary Matt Hancock.

Although this does not necessarily mean restaurants in England will be closed until July, Will Bowlby, founder of Kricket, which has three Indian-inspired restaurants in London, said it was a "devastating prospect".

He said: "The longer the restaurants are shut, the more casualties there will be. In order to reduce the damage, the furlough scheme would have to be extended, and the ongoing discussions with landlords will have to result in further support if businesses are to survive. Even then, this potential extension will only cripple further businesses that are already skating on thin ice. The major issue here is cash flow, and restaurants and pubs are doing their best to manage this but it can only go on so long."

David Moore of Michelin-starred Pied à Terre in London's Fitzrovia, added: "Restaurants are running on empty, there is no money in the bank and this is just another complete blow. A lot of restaurants won't survive this, it's devastating. The furlough system must be extended to help. It really feels like there is no control over the situation and there is a complete lack of informed scheduling."

Photo: Shutterstock

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