Boris Johnson is expected to announce a 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants when he addresses the nation later today.

New restrictions will also require the hospitality sector to offer table service only.

It came as the coronavirus risk level was upped from three to four, meaning transmission of the virus is high or “rising exponentially”. The government’s top scientists warned that 200 more people in the UK could die a day by mid-November if the rate of infection was not slowed.


In Swindon, new cases appear to have slowed – with just seven people diagnosed with the virus over the weekend. The borough was removed from the government’s coronavirus watchlist last Friday.

As of 9am on Monday, September 21, 1,342 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 in the town.

The bulk of cases confirmed since July have been among people living in SN1 and SN2 postcode areas.

Swindon retains its three testing sites: at the Wroughton Park and Ride, the Civic Offices in the town centre and at the Broadgreen community centre.


Nationally, cases are rising. On Monday, the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said in mid-September, around 3,000 new cases were recorded every day in the UK. If the growth continued unabated that would result in 50,000 cases by the middle of October.

He warned the “50,000 cases per day would be expected to lead a month later, so the middle of November, say, to 200-plus deaths per day”.

Chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said reducing social contacts was a key way to curb the spread but acknowledged there was a balance to be struck in terms of protecting the economy.

“Ministers making decisions – and all of society – have to walk this very difficult balance,” he said.

“If we do too little, this virus will go out of control and you will get significant numbers of increased direct and indirect deaths.

“But if we go too far the other way, then we can cause damage to the economy which can feed through to unemployment, to poverty, to deprivation – all of which have long-term health effects, so we need always to keep these two sides in mind.”

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Prof Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance Picture: PA


Boris Johnson will give a televised address to the nation this evening - after speaking to MPs at lunchtime.

It is expected he will use the speech to outline new measures intended to stop the spread of Covid-19, including a new 10pm closing time for pubs, bars and restaurants.

He will also press home the importance of following social-distancing rules, wearing face coverings and washing their hands regularly.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, described proposed new restrictions as “another crushing blow” for many businesses.

“A hard close time is bad for business and bad for controlling the virus – we need to allow time for people to disperse over a longer period,” she said.

“Table service has been widely adopted in some parts of the sector since reopening but it is not necessary across all businesses, such as coffee shops.

“It is hard to understand how these measures are the solution to fighting the disease when Government data shows that just 5 per cent of infections out of the home are related to hospitality.”

Gary Watts of The Harrow, Wanborough, who together with his partner has spent thousands on making the pub “Covid secure”.

“We’ve done everything the government has expected of us, but because in places they haven’t, here we are being penalised because of others’ actions. It’s a shame,” he said.