23:53 GMT20 January 2021
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    Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has suggested in an interview that in order to “prevent the rush to shops once pubs have closed [at 10pm]” there could be an early evening curfew on alcohol sales.

    Burnham criticized the 10pm curfew on bars, pubs and restaurants in England, introduced by the government last week.  

    "Perhaps there could be a 9pm curfew on the sale of alcohol in supermarkets and shops that would prevent the rush to shops once pubs have closed. That’s what we certainly saw on Saturday. The government has said the 10pm curfew is based on Belgium, but they also have police to disperse people on the streets. If it is doing more harm and damaging businesses, then the government shouldn’t just plough on with it. It certainly requires urgent attention,” Manchester mayor said.

    Burnam’s statement was met with a dose of fury and irony on social media, as people rushed to point out that his idea won’t work.

    ​While the UK government is trying to figure a way to put in place the most effective anti-Covid measures, the hospitality industry across the country is suffering from the “crushing blow” of these regulations. 

    Meanwhile, bars in the Parliament were initially exempt from the pub curfew because they fall under the description of “a workplace canteen”. Following criticism by the public and some MPs, facilities were banned to serve alcohol on the parliamentary estate after 10pm but still could remain open and serve food and non-alcoholic drinks.  

    The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliamentarians on Wednesday that Covid-19 was a “serious and growing problem” after he was challenged by the opposition on the effectiveness of the restriction measures applied to the hospitality industry.

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