Pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops could remain closed until July, new regulations extended by the government suggest.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020 – which were brought into play last summer – were due to expire this month, however, have now been extended until July 17 after MPs made a vote on it earlier this month. According to government sources, the renewals must be done six-monthly, meaning it is not yet known if the government intends to use these powers for the full duration.
The regulations give the government the powers to close particular businesses – including bars, restaurants, pubs and gyms – and are used in situations where the government needs to control the spread of Covid-19.
The hospitality sector has been hit particularly hard during the pandemic, with many businesses completely closed down during the UK’s first four-month long lockdown. The months that have followed since have seen areas plunged in and out of local lockdowns, with strict rules preventing people able to meet in venues, and even stricter restrictions closing businesses down completely. Under the current lockdown restrictions, all non-essential retail stores and hospitality businesses must remain closed, with the exception of takeaway and food delivery.
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