Pubs and restaurants could stay closed until mid July after government extends lockdown powers
Garden tinnies for life
Pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops could be shut until mid July after the government quietly extended its power to enforce lockdown measures.
Changes have been made to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020. The law was introduced last July and applies to England only. It allows local authorities to limit access to spaces in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, in other words, enforce a lockdown.
It was due to expire last week but was extended until July 17th this year, meaning pubs and restaurants could stay closed until that date.
Mark Harper, the chairman of the Coronavirus Recovery Group of Tory MPs which is campaigning against 'unnecessary' restrictions, said: “The extension of councils’ Covid powers until July will be of great concern to those worried about their jobs and businesses.
“Given the limited time allowed for debate this change in the law was little noticed.
“Once the top four risk groups have been vaccinated and fully protected by March 8, assuming the Government hits the February 15 deadline, the Government must start easing the restrictions.
“Vaccinations will of course bring immunity from Covid, but they must bring immunity from lockdowns and restrictions too.”
Speaking to Sky News this season, health secretary Matt Hancock said England is still a "long, long, long way off" easing lockdown measures.
While the current lockdown is having an effect on lowering Covid-19 cases, the NHS is still under "enormous" pressure and we will therefore have to wait a while longer life goes back to "normal", whatever that may be.
The extension of the law does not mean lockdown has definitely been extended until July 17th, it could be eased before then, or they could extend it again. But basically, don't expect to set foot in a pub for a while. Sorry.