Boris Johnson ‘to kill off 10pm curfew’ when lockdown ends on December 2

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Boris Johnson could kill off the 10pm curfew on hospitality settings when lockdown in England ends on December 2.

It is understood the Prime Minister will extend opening hours until 11pm in a bid to help the hospitality industry which has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Final orders could be taken at 10pm, but people will get an extra hour to finish their meals and drinks, according to reports.

The new measures could not only help the restaurants, bars and pubs but also prevent crowds to gather together at closing time.

The 10pm curfew, which was introduced in September, was widely criticised but one minister said the new proposal has widespread support.

Boris Johnson will announce new restrictions next week
(Image: PA)

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The insider told the Daily Mail : "10pm last orders and being allowed to stay longer sounds eminently sensible."

The Cabinet is expected to discuss and sign off the plan on Sunday before Mr Johnson announces it to Parliament on Monday.

The PM will address the nation to confirm the lockdown will end on December 2 and to set out new plans going forward.

When lockdown ends, England will face a tier system similar to the one in place before lockdown was introduced on November 5 – but with stricter measures.

Hospitality settings could be asked to close at 11pm instead of 10pm
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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The Prime Minister's office said England will move into tougher tiered regional restrictions than before, with more areas facing severe constraints to prevent the virus from reigniting.

"The Prime Minister and his scientific advisors are clear the virus is still present – and without regional restrictions it could quickly run out of control again before vaccines and mass testing have had an effect," a spokeswoman said.

"That would put in jeopardy the progress the country has made, and once again risk intolerable pressure on the NHS."

Britain has suffered the worst death toll in Europe and the deepest economic contraction of any G7 nation, prompting sharp criticism of Johnson's handling of the pandemic.

Cutting off the 10pm curfew will avoid crowds gathering together at closing time
(Image: The Cleavers / SplashNews.com)

Prior to the latest lockdown, England had been placed into three tiers, with the toughest measures imposed in northern England, where movement was limited and pubs were forced to close unless they sold substantial meals.

Johnson's office said the prime minister would set out a new Covid Winter Plan on Monday, with more areas placed into the higher restrictions under the tiered system.

The plan will also include details on interactions at Christmas.

According to reports, families could be allowed to meet for up to a week at Christmas as part of a UK-wide easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Several households could be allowed to join a social bubble and to mix between December 22 and 28.

Families could be allowed to spend time together at Christmas
(Image: Getty Images)

Mr Johnson is set to outline the restrictions for the festive period next week.

Ministers will announce which areas will be placed into which tier on Thursday, with politicians able to vote on the system before it comes into force.

They are optimistic that restrictions can be gradually reduced in the run-up to spring, providing vaccines are approved by regulators, allowing a plan for the rollout to begin next month before a wider programme in the new year.

But the Prime Minister will be wary of a rebellion from backbench Tory MPs who are opposed to new restrictions.

During a vote on the current four-week system earlier this month, 32 Conservatives rebelled to oppose the measures and 17 more, including former prime minister Theresa May, abstained.

Theresa May abstained when voting on the current four-week lockdown in England
(Image: via REUTERS)

Subsequently, the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) led by former chief whip Mark Harper and ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker has formed to resist new measures.

On Saturday the CRG warned that they "cannot support" a tiered approach unless the Government produces evidence to show measures "will save more lives than they cost".

The plans emerged as the Government announced a further 341 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 54,626.

Labour has so far been supportive of the need for restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19, and a full-scale Commons defeat on the plan is unlikely.

But shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds, in a speech ahead of the Downing Street announcement, said the nation could not be allowed to return "to the shambles we had before this lockdown" in calling for "clarity" on economic support.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: "Everyone's efforts during the current national restrictions have helped bring the virus back under control, slowed its spread and eased pressures on the NHS.

"But the Prime Minister and his scientific advisers are clear the virus is still present – and without regional restrictions it could quickly run out of control again before vaccines and mass testing have had an effect.

"That would put in jeopardy the progress the country has made, and once again risk intolerable pressure on the NHS."

A Labour spokesman said "we will look closely at any proposals the Government brings forward" but called for "proper packages of support" for businesses that are unable to fully reopen.

"The previous system was failing – simply returning to it without other measures in place will not work," he added.

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