Coronavirus news: Pubs reportedly face closure in new regional England lockdown

Conrad Duncan,Samuel Osborne and Jon Sharman
·1-min read
The impact on hospitals in the second peak of Covid is being watched carefully (PA)
The impact on hospitals in the second peak of Covid is being watched carefully (PA)

Ministers are reportedly considering closing pubs and restaurants in regions of England, as part of moves to simplify lockdown rules with a three-tier system. The Independent previously reported on leaked documents revealing the plans in the works.

The reports by the Financial Times and BBC follow Nicola Sturgeon’s ban on pubs and restaurants in much of Scotland selling alcohol indoors for more than two weeks.

Scotland’s first minister insisted that the new measures were not a return to lockdown but she acknowledged the restrictions would “feel like a backward step” for many people.

The potential for drastic action to contain a second wave comes as Sir Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England, warned of a “disturbing” rise in hospital admissions of Covid-19 patients.

He told a virtual conference of NHS leaders: “Speaking frankly there are disturbing signs that infection rates from coronavirus are, again, rising. They are clearly headed in the wrong direction, not just nationally, but particularly in some regions and local areas across the country.

“At the start of September, we had under 500 coronavirus inpatients in hospitals across England. That is now nearly 3000. And we know that hospital admissions lag community infection by several weeks.”