People flock out of pubs and restaurants on first weekend of 10pm curfew

Large numbers of people were seen flocking out of pubs and restaurants at 10pm last night on the first weekend of the new curfew.

Police patrolled the streets and staff cleared away tables and chairs as the strict time limit was seen being enforced in cities including London, Birmingham and Leeds.

People were also seen queuing outside off-licences and shops to buy booze then go home and continue their weekend drinking after the pubs had closed.

The new measures were announced by Boris Johnson earlier this week as part of efforts to curb the spread of a second wave of coronavirus.

It comes as a number of towns across the UK went into local lockdown from midnight – including Leeds, Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool and Llanelli in Carmarthenshire.

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Wales’s two largest cities, Cardiff and Swansea, will follow suit as of midnight tonight.

Every borough of London has also been highlighted as an ‘area of concern’, with mayor Sadiq Khan urging the PM to ban household visits in the capital.

Meanwhile concerns have been raised particularly in the capital after streets were seen looking especially busy and Tubes packed as everyone left central London at the same time when bars closed.

One witness yesterday described the Tubes as ‘the busiest I’ve seen in central London for months’ as everyone ‘rolled onto the streets’ with no staggered leaving times.

Mr Johnson warned these lockdown measures could be left in place for six months at a minimum.

Scientists have warned the UK’s R rate, which measures how quickly Covid-19 is spreading, is up once again from last week.

Data released yesterday by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) shows the estimate for R for the whole of the UK is between 1.2 and 1.5.

This means on average, every 10 people who catch the disease will infect between 12 and 15 other people. It is thought the number of cases in the UK as a whole is growing between 4% and 8% per day.

It comes after there have been a further 6,874 cases of coronavirus recorded in the UK in the last 24 hours – another record increase for a single day.

The figures are up marginally on Thursday, when there were 6,634 positive tests, and brings the total number of cases to 423,236.

It’s the second day in a row when the number of new cases announced is higher than at any point during the pandemic.

Having not seen 6,000 cases a day since early May, the country has now breached this threshold for three days in a row. It comes amid fears of further lockdown restrictions across the country.

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