All pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England have been required to close at 10pm since September 24. The decision by the Prime Minister has received widespread criticism from MPs and industry leaders over its effectiveness in suppressing the spread of coronavirus. In many cases, the early closing has resulted in streams of Britons leaving venues at the same time, with large crowds gathering in city centres and packed onto public transport.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has urged Mr Johnson to publish the scientific evidence supporting the curfew ahead of a vote on the measure in the Commons next week – which could see a large Tory rebellion.
With pressure mounting on Mr Johnson, a poll of more than 2,500 Express.co.uk readers has found the vast majority do not support the curfew and believe it should be scrapped.
The survey, conducted between 4.04pm on Wednesday October 7 and 7.30am on Thursday October 8, asked 2,610 Express.co.uk readers: “Should Boris Johnson axe the 10pm curfew as the Prime Minister risks rebellion?”
The poll found 64 percent (1,674) of readers think the measure should be axed and voted yes.
Just over a third of participants, 35 percent (902), thought the curfew should remain in place and voted no.
Meanwhile, one percent (34) of readers remained unsure and said they did not know.
A number of Express.co.uk readers let their feelings known in the comments section.
One user said: “The 10pm curfew makes no sense whatsoever, it was just a panic gesture.”
A second reader wrote: “YES! Stop screwing up the economy.”
A third commented: “Get off the streets at 10pm people, at 10:01 the Coronavirus becomes ultra-infectious and more dangerous than it was 2 minutes ago, at the least that’s the garbage line coming out of Boris’s Government.”
Meanwhile, a fourth simply said: “Don’t let our pubs die of Covid!”
The 10pm curfew came to the forefront at Prime Minister’s Questions where the Labour leader said people were “screaming out” to know the evidence behind the move and called the lack of explanation for the Government’s restrictions “ridiculous”.
READ MORE: Coronavirus map LIVE: Johnson to hit North of England with shutdown
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The curfew was brought forward as part of a package of measures – which should be viewed as just that – and which we believe that, collectively, should have an impact on helping to slow the spread of the virus.”
On Wednesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a further tightening of restrictions on the hospitality industry from 6pm on Friday.
Under the new rules, indoor hospitality venues will only be allowed to operate between 6am and 6pm daily, selling food and non-alcoholic drinks only, while outdoor bars will be allowed to serve alcohol until 10pm.
In the five regions with the highest number of infections – including Glasgow and Edinburgh – licensed premises will have to shut for a 16-day period, although they can offer takeaway services.
In large parts of the north of England where coronavirus cases are surging it is understood tougher measures – including the possible closure of pubs and restaurants – is being considered.