Stop selling booze at 9pm in shops & off licences demands Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham

MANCHESTER Mayor Andy Burnham has today called for a 9pm curfew on buying ALL booze to extend across the country to stop house parties after pubs shut.

The local leader said the 10pm curfew was "doing more harm than good" after several nights of packed streets and public transport after boozers shut up at 10pm due to new covid rules.

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He called for a 9pm cut off for selling all booze to come into place across the country to help stop the incentive for people to carrying on drinking in their homes rather than out.

Such rules are already in place in Wales, where people are unable to purchase alcohol from supermarkets or off-licences from 10pm.

Mr Burnham told Radio 4's Today programme: "Perhaps if there was a 9pm curfew on sale of alcohol in supermarkets and shops, that would prevent the rush to shops once the pubs have closed.

"That's what we saw on Thursday, that would have been around the country.

"My personal feeling is that the curfew is doing more harm than good, and  creating a disincentive for people carry on drinking and partying at home. that is, we're told the main place where the virus is spreading, in the home."

It comes as:

  • Thousands of uni students were ordered to stay in their halls completely after outbreaks of coronavirus
  • Ministers are considering making the ban on household mixing in lockdown areas the LAW – meaning people could be slapped with fines for breaking the rules
  • Cops warned they don't have the resources to enforce the law
  • New fines of up to £10,000 come in today for people who refuse to self isolate
  • And people on low incomes can claim £500 in support help if they have to stay at home

Boris Johnson told the nation's boozers and restaurants they had to shut by 10pm from last Thursday onwards as part of new measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

But videos and pictures of people spilling out into the streets causes chaos last week, and clogged up public transport.

Queues at supermarkets and off-licences led to people continuing to drink in their own homes instead, despite the rule of six forbidding groups from gathering indoors.

Helen Whately told Times Radio that people leaving the pub should  think about the risk to themselves and others.

She said: "I would ask those who are coming out of pubs and clubs at 10 o'clock and want to be out partying just to think about the potential consequences of what they are doing.

"If you are young and fit you may be thinking, 'well if I get covid  it doesn't matter.'

"Well, on the one hand actually there is the risk unfortunately of this thing called long covid where actually we are seeing you have ongoing health problems… And the other thing is… you may well pass it on to somebody else. So you may be putting someone else at risk."

And she warned that more national restrictions are on the cards if rates continue to spiral.

"We don't want to bring in more restrictions but of course we keep a constant eye on what's going with the Covid rates and we have seen these upward trends in recent weeks," she told Sky News.

STUCK INSIDE

Meanwhile, thousands of university students are imprisoned in halls amid calls to shut Covid-hit campuses.

More than 500 cases have been reported across 30 sites, forcing students to be isolated in areas rife with the virus.

But many of the youngsters are partying to relieve boredom while others have questioned why they were told to return to accommodation when teaching is done remotely.

And students are also furious that they have to pay full tuition fees to simply sit in their rooms.

The president of the National Union of Students (NUS), Larissa Kennedy, told Good Morning Britain: "I'm hearing from some students across the country where there are security guards outside of these blocks where students are being kept, stopping people from leaving, coming and going, where students are being discouraged from getting deliveries and told by the university that they'll deliver food and that delivery has not arrived and so they've gone for the day without food."

But Ms Whately said the Government could not rule out the prospect that university students may be unable to return home at Christmas.

"We want them to be home for Christmas. Everybody wants to come home and spend Christmas with family. We want that very much to be the case," she said.

However, ministers have said they could be asked to stay to stop people spreading the virus back to family at home.


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