Facemasks made compulsory for hospitality as prime minister reveals new rules

22 September 2020 by
Facemasks made compulsory for hospitality as prime minister reveals new rules

The prime minister has announced new restrictions for hospitality venues in England that could last up to six months, including the compulsory wearing of facemasks indoors and a curfew of 10pm.

Today Boris Johnson has announced it will be compulsory for hospitality staff and guests in England to wear face coverings in indoor settings, except when guests are seated at the table.

Plans to restart conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events on 1 October have also been paused, and from Monday a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, although funerals will remain at a maximum of 30 people.

Johnson confirmed that workers are once again encouraged to work from home where possible, and from Thursday pubs, bars and restaurants will have a curfew of 10pm and be table service only. He clarified that this means closing premises and not just last orders, and that takeaways are exempt from the table service rule, and although must close at 10pm, deliveries can continue after the curfew.

Johnson said: "I am sorry to any businesses just getting back on their feet but we must act to stop the virus from being transmitted in bars and restaurants."

He added that businesses could be closed if they breach the rules, which will be enforced by tighter penalties, including extending the maximum £10,000 fine for individuals breaking self-isolation to businesses that break the rules.

Johnson said the country has reached a "perilous turning point" but that measures were "by no means a return to the full lockdown of March" and were designed to have the maximum impact on the rise of cases but "minimum damage to lives and livelihoods".

"This is the moment when we must act. If we can curb the number of daily infections and reduce the reproduction rate to 1, then we can save lives… [and] save the economy from the sterner and more costly measures."

First minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon announced this afternoon that a 10pm curfew on hospitality businesses will also come into place in Scotland from Friday, however said that the restrictions may not last as long as six months and measures will be reviewed in three weeks.

First minister of Wales Mark Drakeford confirmed this evening that the 10pm curfew and table service only restrictions would be in force in Wales from Thursday, having urged people to only travel when they need to do so.

Photo: Flicker – Number10gov

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