MPs approve lockdown in England and closure of hospitality

04 November 2020 by
MPs approve lockdown in England and closure of hospitality

MPs have approved plans to put England into lockdown from midnight tonight, including the closure of hospitality businesses except for takeaway and delivery.

The government won the vote by 516 votes to 38. Several Conservative MPs expressed concerns over the measures, including former prime minister Theresa May.

May said proper analysis of the projections used to justify the lockdown was needed and that there was a lack of data about the costs of the decision.

She said: "Jobs lost, livelihoods shattered, businesses failing, whole sectors damaged. What sort of airline industry are we going to have coming out of this? What sort of hospitality sector? How many small independent shops will be left? The government must have made this analysis, the government must have made this assessment – let us see it and make our own judgments."

Labour supported the move, but party leader Keir Starmer called on the prime minister to use the next four weeks to come up with a better system than the tier system, and said he was "very concerned about the impact on businesses who spent thousands of pounds becoming Covid-secure, doing everything the government asked, only now to be forced to shut".

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to giving a statement about further economic support tomorrow.

Pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be required to close until 2 December, while hotels will not be permitted to welcome leisure guests. The furlough scheme has been extended through November as a result to cover 80% of employees' wages, however industry leaders have said the sector is on a ‘knife edge' and in need of as much support, if not more, than the first lockdown in order to survive.

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