Councils granted extended powers to keep pubs and restaurants shut until July

Pubs and restaurants could stay closed until the summer after the Government granted local councils extended lockdown powers.

Sunday, 24th January 2021, 3:44 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th January 2021, 3:44 pm

According to the Sunday Telegraph, laws allowing town halls to keep venues closed have recently been ‘quietly’ extended by health secretary Matt Hancock.

The laws were first brought in last July to allow local authorities to close premises or outdoor spaces, but they have now been extended due to the continuing crisis.

The Government have so far refused to be drawn on when the current lockdown might end, but the extension is sure to intensify the debate on the effect of the ongoing restrictions on the economy.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Customers collecting their drinks at a bar. Picture by PA Archive/PA Images.

Conservative MP Mark Harper, who chairs the Coronavirus Recovery Group of Tory MPs, said the restrictions must begin to be eased as soon as the most at risk people have been vaccinated.

However, a Government source told The Sun that the laws had been ‘automatically’ extended for a further six months but were still subject to a statutory review.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.