Coronavirus: Crowded streets as pubs empty at 10 p.m. for the first time as new rules take effect


Pub goers took to the streets of London immediately after 10 p.m. Thursday evening after pubs and restaurants were forced to close under new coronavirus measures aimed at curbing the spread of the infection.

Boris Johnson announced the new restrictions on Tuesday, imposing shorter opening hours for pubs, cafes and restaurants in England.

A small police presence was observed in the pedestrianized streets of Soho, central London, but no issues were reported.

According to the Metropolitan Police, Commissioner Cressida Dick was patrolling the streets of Shoreditch with local officers “who engaged with members of the public, to remind them of their responsibility to protect themselves and others in order to minimize the spread.”

Londoners “should expect to see police officers” step up enforcement of coronavirus regulations in response to tightened restrictions and rising infection rates.

“Working with local authorities and other partners, the focus will be on high-traffic public spaces – where people are most likely to come into contact with each other and therefore the risk of transmission is increased, ”added the force.

But many people on social media have ridiculed the Prime Minister’s new rule, pointing to crowded streets and crowded public transportation after closing time, as late-night drinkers made their way to their homes or elsewhere.

“Boris Johnson didn’t really think about that, did he? 10pm bar curfew = massive street congestion and transport overload, ”one person commented on Twitter.

Others have pointed out that drinkers have been seen buying more alcohol from unlicensed licenses and bringing groups of people home to continue their midweek festivities.

One person said: “On the evening of the 10pm curfew and I am kept awake by my neighbors who have clearly decided to take the pub home for an afternoon. I can’t wait six months from this. Thanks Bozza. “

In England, gatherings of more than six people are prohibited indoors and outdoors.

Teams of “city inspectors” have been spotted searching establishments in Soho to see if “illegal speakeasies” remain open after the 10pm curfew.

Rules differ in Wales, where drinkers have an extra 20 minutes to finish their drinks after last orders at 10 p.m., and licensed premises must close at 10.20 p.m.


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