Great Britain

Pubs and restaurants caused just 3% of coronavirus infections in week before 10pm curfew announced

PUBS and restaurants caused less than three per cent of coronavirus infections in the week before curfew, data from Public Health England shows.

In fact, schools and care homes were responsible for more than two thirds of all positive tests, the weekly figures have revealed.

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The hospitality industry, which has been hit with a draconian government curfew, accounted for just 22 cases out of 772 recorded in the week leading up to September 20.

This comes as large crowds were pictured outside pubs across Britain over the weekend after punters were kicked out after 10pm.

Social distancing went out of the window as the hoards mingled in shops and on pavements, with cops trying to break up the crowds.

Sacha Lord, night-time adviser for Greater Manchester, called the curfew "shambolic" and "ill-thought-out" insisting it will be lead to overcrowding on buses and trains as well as house parties.

He told The Telegraph: “If we had been consulted, we could have found ways to prevent this.

“I really hope the Government does a U-turn because it's going to escalate. It’s too big an issue to police.”

On Friday night, footage from Oxford Circus in central London showed crowds swelling in the streets as pubs and bars all shut at once.

A BBC reporter described the scenes as "an impromptu party" showing how the capital is "as busy as before lockdown".

Charlie Haynes' video showed crowds shouting and drinking - while appearing to ignore social distancing guidelines.

Piers Morgan branded the scenes a "farce" - and came hours after London was placed on the Government's coronavirus watchlist.

Other pictures showed people filling escalators and packing into the Tube shoulder-to-shoulder as they head home early due to the new coronavirus law.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city is at a "tipping point" after a spike in cases.

Britain has been the hardest-hit country in Europe with government scientists Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty recently painting a bleak picture with cases doubling every seven days.

But according to the latest data, the virus is more likely to be doubling between every nine and 14 days - which means a worst case scenario could see 32,000-daily cases by October 13.

The R number across the UK is between 1.2 and 1.5 and the Covid-19 epidemic is growing, scientists have said.

Britain's coronavirus death toll is currently 41,988 with more than 434,000 infections since the pandemic began.

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