The party’s over in the U.K.
A new curfew will go into effect on Thursday, September 24th that will shut down all restaurants and bars in England at 10:00 pm.
The curfew is expected to last at least six months. For those looking to take the party home, social gatherings will also be limited to 6 people in sweeping new measures imposed by the UK government to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced the new measures in a live video address to the nation.
The new measures include:
- Restaurants closed by 10:00 pm
- Bars closed by 10:00 pm
- Table service only
- Social indoor gatherings limited to 6 people
- Social outdoor gathering limited to 6 people
- Weddings limited to 15 people
- Office workers are to work from home
- Mandatory use of masks in all indoor public spaces
Travelers headed to the UK need to be aware that the use of masks is mandatory in all indoor spaces and transportation hubs.
Failure to wear a mask can result in fines of £200 and double for each subsequent offense.
“We must rely on our willingness to look out for each other, to protect each other. Never in our history has our collective destiny and collective health depended on our individual behavior,” Boris Johnson said in his video address.
The new preventative measures have been put in place in hopes of avoiding another complete lockdown in the nation.
Additional police have been added to streets across the UK to help enforce the use of masks and restaurant/bar curfews.
Restaurants and bars that fail to comply with new curfew could face fines up to £10,000 or loss of operating permit.
The new measures only apply to England but other parts of the UK like Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland have their own measures in place.
From September 25th, all bars and restaurants in Scotland will also come under a 10:00 pm operating curfew. Scotland also takes it one step further than England prohibiting social visits to other households.
The World Travel & Tourism Council President, Gloria Guevara responded to the new measures put in place by the UK government.
“Public health is paramount, and we fully support the UK governments latest announcement which aims to curb a second spike of the virus.
“However, these latest measures will also come as a huge disappointment to the hard-pressed hospitality industry, just as it had begun to recover.
“Tens of thousands of smaller businesses and SMEs, such as cafes, taxis, restaurants, bars and office support services, across the country rely upon commuters for their business and livelihoods.
The UK has confirmed 409,729 cases of COVID-19 resulting in 41,862 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
While the UK had successfully flattened its curve in July, the nation has seen a second wave confirming almost 5000 cases in one day on September 22nd.
Under the current UK COVID-19 entry requirements, travelers from all countries are permitted to enter the UK with a 14 day quarantine.
However, travelers are reporting weak quarantine enforcement measures which could lead to additional border measures.