James O'Brien explains what the 10pm pub curfew is designed to do

22 September 2020, 11:05 | Updated: 22 September 2020, 11:08

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

This is James O'Brien's explanation of what the 10pm pub curfew is designed to do amid new coronavirus restrictions being imposed by Boris Johnson.

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On a day when telling pubs to close early has "caused confusion up and down these islands," James set out to explain to his listeners why the step was needed.

"The best way to explain is that 6 o'clock to 11 o'clock is a five-hour window in which you could contract coronavirus in an environment where we have learnt that infection becomes most likely," James explained.

The explanation comes on the day pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be ordered to close by 10pm each night from Thursday under tough restrictions set to be announced by Boris Johnson in a bid to curb the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.

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The Prime Minister will use an address to the nation on Tuesday evening to outline new measures to stop the spread of Covid-19, which will also restrict the hospitality sector to table service only.

Looking into the reasoning behind the move, James said with pubs being indoors and having large numbers of people attempting to social distance, not wearing masks "by dint of the fact they have to put the ale and the grub in their gobs."

He said this meant a "high level of possibility of infection."

James added that in pubs the risk was "probably" highest in the final hour.

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He told the LBC audience that closing at 10pm was designed to "reduce the size of the window in which you could get an infection."

The LBC presenter pointed out that he was "explaining, not endorsing this idea."

He said, like all experiments, the proof will be in the pudding.

"We'll have to see whether it works to know whether it's wise."

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James said at the moment he didn't feel minded to join the queue of people castigating the idea.

However, he did say he was "at the very front of the queue" of people castigating the Government's "appalling messaging, constant U-turns and absence of leadership."