The Prime Minister has announced that staff in the hospitality sector in England will now be required to wear face coverings, as he speaks to the House of Commons on new restrictions being introduced to curb the rise in coronavirus cases.
Confirming the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants in England starting from Thursday, Boris Johnson said that he was ‘sorry’ that the new measures will affect many businesses ‘just getting back on their feet’, but said ‘now was the time to act’ to ‘save lives, protect the NHS and shelter the economy’.
Under the new rules, both staff and customers in indoor hospitality will be required to wear masks, except when sat at a table for eating or drinking, as well as workers in retail sectors and passengers travelling in taxis.
Johnson said: “We must act from the virus being transmitted in bars and restaurants. We will extend the requirement to wear face coverings to include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
“In retail, leisure and tourism and other sectors, our Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach the rules.”
Johnson also confirmed that hospitality venues will now only be allowed to operate strictly table service only, with fines introduced if the rule is broken.
Weddings will also be limited further, with 30 guests reduced to 15 and indoor sports will no longer be allowed.
In a U-turn on home working, the PM is also advising people to ‘work from home if you can’, despite the message earlier this month to go back to the workplace.
Plans for trials to have the public return to sporting events and conferences centres have now been paused as a result.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS STORY AND WILL BE UPDATED