Labour Party’s Andy Burnham proposes 9PM ban on alcohol sales to stop COVID-19 spread

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The Labour Party’s mayor of Manchester called for a review of the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants as he warned the measures could do “more harm than good” in the battle against the coronavirus. Andy Burnham admitted he did not support the curfew but suggested additional policies could help contain the spread of the virus. Speaking to the BBC Today programme, Mr Burnham said: “I’m not coming on to score political points, I’m looking for a solution here.

“I can understand what the Government is trying to do so let me give a couple of suggestions.

“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. And that’s what we certainly saw on Saturday and I guess it wasn’t just Manchester. That would have been around the country.”

Photos and videos shared on social media throughout the weekend, the first since the implementation of the curfew last Thursday, showed people queing outside of supermarkets and off licences before continuing to assemble on the streets.

Mr Burnham also questioned the Government’s suggestion that the UK is now following the example of Belgium as he pointed out Brussels has also deployed officers to avoid people forming groups instead of heading back home.

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He added: “The Government is saying they’re following the example of Belgium – as I understand it Antwerp have an on-street dispersal situation in place as well so there couldn’t be gatherings.

“My personal view is that the curfew is doing more harm than good, it’s creating a major incentive for people to carry on drinking and partying at home and that’s where we are told the virus has been spreading.”

The curfew was introduced amidst a raising number of coronavirus infections recorded across the United Kingdom over the past few weeks.

Following months of cases being under control, the UK experiences a concerning rise to over 6,000 new cases per day in the past week.

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