Here’s when Boris Johnson is expected to tighten restrictions in the North of England - including closures of pubs

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 1:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th October 2020, 2:31 pm
Pubs and restaurants in some of the worst affected areas could be forced to close (Photo: Getty Images)

The Prime Minister is expected to impose tougher restrictions in parts of England next week, which could see the possible closure of pubs and restaurants in some of the worst affected areas.

Ministers are said to be considering similar strict new measures for swathes of northern England, amid concerns the virus is spreading out of control.

When will Boris Johnson address the nation?

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Boris Johnson is expected to make a formal announcement on new measures on Monday 12 October, according to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.

A time for the announcement is yet to be confirmed.

However, both Downing Street and the Department of Health and Social Care declined to comment on reports that new restrictions on hospitality will come as soon as Monday.

What measures could be implemented?

In an effort to address the rising infection rates, the PM will likely introduce a three-tier system for local lockdowns, which would see different parts of the country placed into different categories.

Areas that fall into tier one will have fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 of population and will continue to follow national restrictions, such as the "rule of six" and social distancing.

Those in tier two include areas where cases are above 100 per 100,000, with restrictions to be similar to those currently in place in large parts of northern England, including bans on household meetings.

Areas placed into tier three would include those with significantly higher infection rates and will likely face a full lockdown, which would see pubs, cafes and restaurants forced to close.

Will pubs and restaurants close?

Mr Johnson is expected to order tougher restrictions in swathes of northern England, with the worst affected areas facing the possible closure of pubs and restaurants.

Cities including Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle will most likely see hospitality venues forced to shut, as infection rates in these areas continue to soar.

However, a final decision on the time period or extent of the potential closures has not yet been confirmed.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Thursday (8 October) that ministers are “currently considering” what steps need to be taken, as he warned of a “fast and serious situation” in the North.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said: “It is correct to say that the number of cases in the North West and the North East, and a number of cities, particularly in the Midlands like Nottingham, are rising fast and that is a serious situation.

“We are currently considering what steps we should take, obviously taking the advice of our scientific and medical advisers, and a decision will be made shortly.”

How is Scotland handling rising infections?

The government in Westminster is facing increasing pressure to implement stricter rules after Scotland announced new restrictions for the hospitality sector on Wednesday (7 October).

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a “short, sharp” package of measures which will take effect in Scotland from 6pm on Friday (9 October).

Under the new rules, indoor hospitality venues will be required to operate between 6am and 6pm daily, selling food and non-alcoholic drinks only, while outdoor bars will be allowed to serve alcohol until 10pm.

In Scotland’s five regions with the highest number of cases (which include Glasgow and capital city, Edinburgh) licensed premises will have to shut for a 16-day period. However, they are still permitted to offer takeaway services.

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post.