Sadiq Khan calls for 10pm curfew to be scrapped in London ‘immediately’

20 October 2020, 12:23 | Updated: 20 October 2020, 17:24

Sadiq Khan has called for the 10pm curfew to be scrapped
Sadiq Khan has called for the 10pm curfew to be scrapped. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for the 10pm curfew to be scrapped in London amid warnings of mass job losses in the hospitality sector.

The Mayor said the curfew made no sense now that household mixing was banned indoors after Tier 2 restrictions were added last week.

It comes as the hospitality industry has staged protests against the curfew.

Mr Khan said allowing restaurants to remain open beyond 10pm would support businesses by allowing them to increase bookings even with indoor mixing of households banned.

In a statement, he said: "I have said for a while that the current curfew rule needs to be rapidly reviewed. We saw the worrying consequences of increased social mixing on the streets and on public transport in the capital around 10pm immediately after its introduction.

"Now London and other parts of the country have moved into Tier 2 and higher restrictions, which prohibit household mixing, the current 10pm curfew policy makes even less sense and should be scrapped.

"Immediately scrapping the 10pm curfew would allow more sittings of single households in restaurants throughout the evening, helping with cashflow at a time when venues need all the support they can get."

Read more: Wales to enter 'fire break' lockdown to help stop rise of Covid-19

Hospitality workers including high-profile chef Yotam Ottolenghi staged a noisy demonstration in central London against "devastating" Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.

Around 200 workers, from farmers to chefs and events organisers, filled Parliament Square with a metallic uproar by banging metal cooking utensils on Monday morning.

Mr Ottolenghi, 51, a chef and food writer who specialises in Middle Eastern cuisine, told the PA news agency that new Tier 2 restrictions in the capital will "kill viable businesses".

"It's really hard, we've got a great industry with lots of heart, and nobody works in the hospitality industry to get rich, we do it because we love what we're doing - and there's so many people who depend on it," he said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also voiced his support for protesters who are "deeply anxious about their future".

He said: "The 80% furlough scheme was a lifeline for many businesses at the start of the pandemic, and it is this level of support London's hospitality sector now needs to prevent further widespread unemployment and ensure this world-leading sector can return to business when the virus is under control.

"Until the Government gets a grip on this virus, ministers have an obligation to give businesses the support they need to survive while restrictions remain in place."Hospitality workers including high-profile chef Yotam Ottolenghi staged a noisy demonstration in central London against "devastating" Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.

Around 200 workers, from farmers to chefs and events organisers, filled Parliament Square with a metallic uproar by banging metal cooking utensils on Monday morning.

Mr Ottolenghi, 51, a chef and food writer who specialises in Middle Eastern cuisine, told the PA news agency that new Tier 2 restrictions in the capital will "kill viable businesses".

"It's really hard, we've got a great industry with lots of heart, and nobody works in the hospitality industry to get rich, we do it because we love what we're doing - and there's so many people who depend on it," he said.

Chief executive of the British Beer and Pubs Association Emma McClarkin said: "Pubs were struggling to break even before [the curfew] and these latest restrictions will push some to breaking point,” she said.

“Removing a key trading hour on top of fragile consumer confidence and the reduced capacity pubs already face will put thousands more pubs and jobs at risk.”

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