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Gloucestershire Business News

Lockdown restrictions could call time on pubs again

Parts of the hospitality could be forced to close again if fresh restrictions are introduced across England in a bid to arrest a rise in coronavirus cases.

Lockdown measures were introduced yesterday in the north east which includes the closure of restaurants and pubs at 10pm.

Further lockdown measures in the north west, Midlands and Yorkshire were announced today with similar restrictions.

And with cases doubling every seven to eight days, following rapid surges to record daily levels in France and Spain, the closing of hospitality businesses or the further limiting of hours was among suggestions by the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC the Government is "prepared to do what it takes".

The rate of positive cases in Gloucestershire is well below the national average.

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said: "As an industry we recognise the need to continue to support the Government and local communities in managing the risk of rising infection rates.

"We take our responsibilities extremely seriously and our pubs will continue to adhere strictly to Government guidance ensuring that they remain a safe and welcoming place for socialising."

She continued: "Our data suggests that a third of pubs are still struggling to even break even which indicates that we are at a very delicate moment in our sector's recovery.

"Consumer confidence is already very fragile and extra restrictions will inevitably have a further cooling effect on that, not only in the regions where they are in effect but also nationally."

From today, hospitality venues in England could face a fine of up to £4,000 if they fail to comply with the so-called rule of six and maintain social distancing between customers.

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