Bars and restaurants across the North-East and North Yorkshire who are calling to end the 10pm Covid curfew that is "devastating" to hospitality will continue to fight despite a vote on the rule being cancelled.

Business such as bars, pubs, cinemas and restaurants in England must close between 10pm and 5am but the hospitality industry has hit out saying restrictions, along with reduced capacity due to social distancing and table service, are devastating and severe.

A vote on the restriction and rule of sis was scheduled for tonight, October 7, but that was cancelled this morning after speculation Tory rebels would vote against the order.

Food and Drink North East, which represents over 500 businesses in the region's food and drink sector, has joined calls for additional support for the night-time economy. 

The organisation is asking for five things: 

  1. A sector-specific furlough scheme
  2. A cancellation of the 10pm curfew, to be replaced with more evidenced-based measures
  3. Extra support for businesses affected by or ordered to close during local lockdowns 
  4. A further extension to business rates holiday
  5. More transparency on scientific data behind local lockdown measures 

Jessie Jacobs FADNE director, who is also running for Tees Valley mayor, said: “Our hospitality industry is the UK’s fifth biggest industry and it is currently on its knees. It is part of the heart and soul of our towns and cities and must be protected.

“We are calling on the government to do the right thing and support the hospitality sector and night-time economy through these challenging times."

Chris Jewitt FADNE founder added: “We are hearing of too many businesses who face closure, it’s devastating and something needs to be done.

“We need to know the government is listening, both to the sector and to evidence."

A petition on the Parliament petition site urges the Government to remove the restrictions "because Covid-19 can still be transmitted outside of these times". It so far has 2,318 signatures. 

Members of the public are also being asked to write to their MP ahead of the cancelled vote being rescheduled. 

The Night Time Industries Association has launched an easy-to-use tool for people to find their MP and send off a templated email urging them to vote to cancel the 10pm curfew. 


#CANCELTHECURFEW - Previously we would still have another 2 hours of safe, friendly service to go, but after our daily clean down & forced closure at 10pm we are here again. Takings down through no reason of our own, covid secure venue with livelihoods on the line due to a scientifically unproven curfew. We are joining the #CancelTheCurfew campaign and ask the local council to break down the doors of Westminster and tell how important the hospitality industry is in Newcastle & the North East and urge them to reconsider the curfew (and for god sake let Peter chop after 10pm!)

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Rockliffe Hall, a hotel and spa in Darlington, is also standing in solidarity with those affected.

Jason Adams, Managing Director of Rockliffe Hall said: "There is no doubt the hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit throughout the whole pandemic.

"We have all worked incredibly hard to ensure that hospitality businesses are safe and Covid secure, with thorough risk assessments and safety measures in place to protect team members and guests.

"The new 10pm rule seems to be decimating trade for bars and pubs across the country, and I fully support the cancellation of this curfew."

Downing Street today defended the curfew measure but officials were unable to highlight any specific scientific evidence of its effectiveness.

There was no confirmation of when a vote – which could see a Tory revolt – will be held in the Commons.

Asked what the scientific evidence behind the curfew was, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The curfew was brought forward as part of  a package of measures – which should be viewed as just that – and which we believe that, collectively, should have an impact on helping to slow the spread of the virus.”

On Saturday, October 3, people gathered across outside hospitality venues across the country as part of the Cancel the Curfew campaign. They held up signs, some of which included a monetary figure for how much revenue has dropped compared to pre-Covid. 

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls, who is calling on the Government to rethink, said the curfew has had a severe and devastating impact.

Campaigning efforts come as restrictions are placed on the hospitality industry across Scotland, with harsher changes made in the central belt who will face complete closure.