From Thursday, all pubs, restaurants, and other hospitality venues will need to close at 22:00. This measure has been brought in to try and curb the spread of COVID-19. The hospitality sector will also be restricted to table service only.
The details of the new rules and regulations will be relayed by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on Tuesday at 20:00 BST.
These, more stringent restrictions regarding pub’s and restaurant’s opening and closing times, have already been implemented in parts of north-east and north-west England and parts of Wales.
Currently, the UK is at level 4 for its COVID alert level, meaning the rate of infection and transmission is "high or rising exponentially”.
Other measures to curb the virus are also expected to be put into action. These include working from home as much as possible, provided the business is not negatively impacted, and further stressing the social distancing measures currently in place. Additionally, the PM will emphasise that the public must wear face coverings and wash hands regularly to help stop the spread.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the government's chief scientific advisor, has warned that, if no further action is taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, new cases could be up to 50,000 per day by the middle of October. He added that this, in turn, could lead to over 200 deaths per day by November.
Monday’s COVID reports showed that there were 4,368 new cases recorded and 11 COVID-related deaths.
The Scottish government will also be announcing the implementation of further restrictions today. Northern Ireland will extend their restrictions on households mixing indoors to the whole of the country. In the south of Wales, four more counties will also face tighter restrictions, which include a 23:00 closing time for pubs and bars.
The general public has been asking what difference the 22:00 closing time will make. BBC health correspondent Nick Triggle suggested that "coupled with the table service law, it will be little more than a marginal gain."
The government is hoping that these measures, as well as the "rule of six" will highlight to the public more effort needs to be made to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Triggle also noted that, with winter on the way, viruses that affect one's breathing always spread as they thrive in colder temperatures. With little immunity and no vaccine, the spread of COVID-19 could be more rapid.
Other political parties are worried that these restrictions are not the way forward. Sir Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said that the new restrictions were "a step backwards". Davey has also said the government should, instead, fix the test and trace system and assist the hospitality sector in getting back on its feet.
Davey also commented that “after people have already been through so much hardship, we cannot allow thousands of jobs to disappear overnight."
There are mixed feelings about the government’s decisions surrounding their efforts to help stop the spread. Christopher Snowdon, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, called on the government to publish more evidence upon which their policies are based. He commented that the restrictions seem "to have emerged from a random policy generator."
After weekend meetings with the chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Johnson will announce the measures to Parliament at lunchtime before this evening's televised address.