A campaign to end the 10pm curfew faced by hospitality venues in England is gaining pace, with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan the latest to criticise the measures.
The Mayor told the London Assembly that he was calling for an urgent review to the curfew from government. ‘My view is that the 10pm curfew not only doesn’t appear to be reducing the increase in this virus, but could be counterproductive,’ he said.
Khan’s call for a review follows heavy criticism from leader of the opposition Keir Starmer in yesterday’s (Wednesday October 7) Prime Minister’s Questions, in which the Labour leader demanded to see scientific evidence to back the 10pm restrictions.
Khan told the Evening Standard of concerns over increased social mixing in other settings after 10pm, as well as the crowding of people into the streets and on to public transport when venues close in London.
Earlier in the week, the owner of Soho’s G-A-Y, Jeremy Joseph, launched a legal challenge against the government’s curfew for this very reason. ‘It does the opposite of protecting people by pushing them on to the streets at the same time. They are going from being safe inside venues with staggered closing times to unsafe on overcrowded streets and overloaded public transport,’ said Joseph in a statement.
Joseph is among many hospitality owners, venues and staff now publicly backing the #CanceltheCurfew campaign, which is calling for a review of the 10pm restrictions. London venues have been sharing posts on social media as well as writing to their local MPs on the advice of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), hoping to put pressure on the government.
A review of the curfew was meant to take place this week but has now been postponed, with MPs due to vote on its continuation next week instead.
In the meantime, check out these early-bird deals in London restaurants and bars.