Clitheroe's hospitality leaders' mixed reaction to Government's 10pm curfew plans to fight the coronavirus disease

From Thursday, England's pubs, bars and restaurants will be forced to close by 10pm under restrictions that the Prime Minister is expected to announce tonight to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 12:30 pm

The sector will also be restricted by law to table service only.

The measures come amid fears the UK could see 50,000 coronavirus cases a day by the middle of October without Government action.

COVID-19 cases have spiked in recent weeks following a drive to get people back into restaurants in August and pushes to make office staff go back to their workplaces .

Holmes Mill Clitheroe

Laura Smithies, landlady of the Brown Cow in Clitheroe, fears her pub earnings will be hit further with the 10pm curfew and says the Government's plans are another "crushing blow to the sector".

She explained: "We have kept our pub very safe and only allowed a maximum of 30 local people only. Table service was adopted as soon as we reopened and we have observed the rules. "So much so, that we remained closed on Saturdays so groups of punters from outside the area could not mix with our 'Clitheroe bubble'.

"The 10pm pub curfew decision will be devastating for our pub as we have already lost a lot of money and we will be losing an extra two hours from Thursday onwards. It's going to make a massive difference to our takings."

Meanwhile, commenting on the new rules, a spokesman for Holmes Mill said: "While we do not welcome the news that pubs and restaurants have to close at 10pm, we do recognise the fine line the government is treading to prevent the country going back into a full lockdown.

"At Holmes Mill, and across the James’ Places Group, we were already largely observing the requirement to only serve to tables.

"And independently of the new directive had taken a decision for the wellbeing of our customers and staff to close a little earlier.

"This being the case we don’t feel these measures will have any significant impact on the enjoyment of our venues, and look forward to continuing to serve our customers safely."

Boris Johnson will address the nation in a live broadcast at 8pm tonight (Tuesday).