The government’s own scientific advisers warned that its 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants would only have a “marginal impact” on the spread of coronavirus.
Documents published on Monday from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) show that experts dismissed the idea of a curfew exactly a week before one was implemented across England.
In a document from 17 September, seven days before the 10pm curfew came into force, Sage wrote: “Curfews likely to have a marginal impact. Low confidence.”
The document was published on Monday just hours after prime minister Boris Johnson announced details of a new three-tier lockdown system in England.
Watch: Boris Johnson announces three-tier lockdown
The 10pm curfew has been criticised by scientists, as well as politicians in the North of England, who have doubted its
UK pub owners are “angry” with the government, as more than 1,000 publicans signed an open letter to Rishi Sunak pleading for more government support and to rethink the 10pm curfews.
In the letter organised by grassroots organisation Campaign for Pubs, owners accused Sunak of “scapegoating pubs” and “ignoring the needs of pubs, publicans, staff and their families” in his Winter Economy Plan.
In September, the government’s announced that all businesses in the sector, including pubs, bars and restaurants can offer table service only and must close at 10pm, after UK coronavirus cases spiked.
Campaign for Pubs said owners signed the letter because there is “real anger among licensees about the 10pm curfew, which has no scientific basis, but which makes