elen Whately, the care minister, was sent out to tour the TV studios to plead with drinkers to do the right thing and obey the 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants, and not to carry on drinking after that arbitrary deadline to exit the premises.
Even Ms Whately didn’t sound as if she really believed in her mission. From the evidence of the last few days all that happens is that the drinking continues outside, or possibly at someone’s home, and that the streets and public transport become jammed. Meanwhile, in the northeast of England people will be ordered not to “mix households”.
The 10pm policy – it has been virtually admitted – has had no scientific modelling applied to it, and has led to a collapse in social distancing on a number of streets, buses and trains after closing time. It’s a policy that is virtually unenforceable and has a disproportionately adverse effect on of the takings in the trade – halving them in some cases and likely costing jobs.