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.
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.