Buying alcohol anywhere in England after 9pm could soon be banned, says minister

Buying booze after 9pm could be banned in England after the nation's second lockdown is lifted, the Housing Secretary has suggested.

Robert Jenrick said coronavirus restrictions imposed once the national lockdown ends on December 2, could limit the time frame in which shops can sell alcohol.

Nottinghamshire imposed the rule last month to stop spontaneous after parties following the 10pm curfew on pubs and bars.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Jenrick said: "We are now reviewing the tiers so that when the national measures come to an end, we are able to move the country, we hope, back into the tiered structure."

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Public Health England's Dr Susan Hopkins has warned the pre-existing three tier system needs to be ramped up which has led to the government considering what extra measures could be brought in.

Mr Jenrick said: "We will be looking at whether the measures we had in the old tiers were effective. Remember they varied quite a bit in different parts of the country.

"In the new tiers, we would like greater consistency and we will have to see which measures were actually the most impactful on the virus."

When pressed on whether the previous Tier 3 could be tougher, Mr Jenrick said: "My own area of Nottinghamshire, the local council chose to go over and above and limit the sale of alcohol from off-licences and so on after a certain time, so that people didn't go home and have parties or drink alcohol on the streets.

"So there were some tweaks to the tiers that you're seeing in some parts of the country and it's that sort of thing that we now need to consider.

"Was that a sensible move? If so, should we embed that in the new tier structure?"

The rule would stop pub goers popping into an off licence to stock up on beer with pals to carry the night on at home after venues close.

Mr Jenrick also warned that although "by and large" places like pubs and restaurants would be allowed to reopen, those with the highest infection rates could remain shut.

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