SINCE the reopening of pubs and restaurants in July, Brits have enjoyed the return of a more normal life – but could this all be about to change again?
With new figures revealed that cases of Covid-19 are doubling roughly every seven days, there are fears that pubs will be forced to close.
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Are pubs and restaurants closing in the UK?
Matt Hancock has refused to rule out whether pubs will be forced to close from the weekend of September 26/27.
The Health Secretary's comments follow Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance's announcement on September 21 that coronavirus figures are looking very bleak and will worsen if actions are not taken.
Boris Johnson is expected to provide the country with an update on potential changes on Tuesday, September 22.
What are the new rules?
As part of a plan to tackle the rise in coronavirus cases, the PM is set to order pubs to close at 10pm starting from Thursday, September 24.
The hospitality sector could also be restricted by law to table service only.
The full measures will be set out by the Boris Johnson in the House of Commons on Tuesday, September 22.
It comes after new coronavirus rules were introduced earlier this month limiting social gatherings to six people.
Mr Hancock said there will be more enforcement of social distancing in pubs after the rise in cases.
The Prime Minister is reluctant to force businesses to close again because of the financial hardship it will cause for many Brits.
In areas put under local lockdown rules, pubs and restaurants have mostly been allowed to stay open – but with different opening hours.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said there was evidence the 10pm closing time has a "beneficial effect" on the spread of the virus in areas where the restriction has already been tried.
As everyone has seen pubs have looked a little different since they reopened.
Many have put up plastic screens over the bar to protect both staff and customers, as well as screens between tables.
People have also been asked to give their name and number if they are going to a pub or restaurant in case there is an outbreak of coronavirus and they need to be contacted by NHS track and trace.
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