MP joins opponents of pubs curfew - The Evesham Observer

MP joins opponents of pubs curfew

Evesham Editorial 16th Oct, 2020   0

PERSHORE’S MP Harriett Baldwin has criticised the Government’s continued calls for pubs to close at 10pm and said the curfew had ‘possible perverse disbenefits and a high economic cost’.

The West Worcestershire Conservative MP was among 42 rebels who voted against the divisive rule which sees pubs and restaurants in England shut up shop an hour earlier than normal.

While the motion would have won had Labour not told its MPs to abstain, the vote was largely symbolic as the curfew has now been rolled over into the new laws for the three-tier lockdown system introduced on Monday (October 12).

Speaking after the vote, Mrs Baldwin said: “I have been very clear Parliament should get to debate and vote these changes and reflect the views of constituents and local business people and most importantly, that the Government listens to all viewpoints is it hones the national response to this global pandemic.”

“The 10pm curfew is a measure with marginal disease control benefit according to SAGE and possible perverse disbenefits and a high economic cost.”

Worcestershire and Warwickshire will see no immediate change to the current COVID-19 restrictions, with bars and pubs staying open until the 10pm curfew.

Casinos, gyms and non-essential shops will also remain open but local health bosses have echoed the Government’s reminder to city residents to continue to limit gatherings to six people, the so-called ‘Rule of Six’.

People from separate households may continue to meet with one another as per the current rules as the ‘support bubbles’ will remain possible.

Each area in England has been placed into ‘medium’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’ alert levels under the new restrictions.

In the high alert level, which will apply to most of the areas already subject to restrictions, household mixing will be banned indoors. Support bubbles will still be permitted, however.

The very high alert level will apply to areas causing the most concern, and social mixing will be prohibited indoors and in private gardens.

Pubs and bars will be closed in the very high alert level areas unless they can operate as a restaurant. People will also be advised against travel in and out of the areas.

“Local people have taken extraordinary steps over recent months to help slow the spread of the virus and help to take the pressure off the NHS,” Mrs Baldwin added.

“With Winter drawing in, there are clearly heightened risks and the Government has simplified the local rules to make them easier to understand and comply.

“I am pleased that Worcestershire remains in the lowest category and by following the rules, I hope this will continue.”


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