Ministers renew lockdown laws to give councils the power to close pubs, restaurants and public spaces before July

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The move comes after Boris Johnson said it was "too early" to say whether restrictions on coronavirus should be lifted ahead of the spring or even the summer.

Local councils have been given extended curbing powers that could leave pubs, restaurants, shops and public squares open till summer.

Kate Nicholls, director of UK Hospitality, a hospitality trade body, said the move was 'surprising' given how 'the large proportion of the population will be vaccinated by then'.

The Sun reports that Mark Harper, the chairman of the Tory MPs "Coronavirus recovery group, said that the extension would" cause huge concern to those worry about their jobs and their business."

The law allows a local authority to close or restrict access to any room or open space in its territory to keep the coronavirus from spreading, including the suspension of events.

A Health Department source says MPs voted in favour of the national limits earlier this month.