Sadiq Khan calls for end of 10pm Covid curfew in London

People drinking in Soho. Credit: PA

Sadiq Khan has called for the 10pm curfew in the capital to be scrapped now the city is under Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Khan said allowing restaurants to remain open beyond 10pm would support businesses by allowing them to increase bookings even with indoor mixing of households banned.

In a statement, he said: “I have said for a while that the current curfew rule needs to be rapidly reviewed. We saw the worrying consequences of increased social mixing on the streets and on public transport in the capital around 10pm immediately after its introduction.

“Now London and other parts of the country have moved into Tier 2 and higher restrictions, which prohibit household mixing, the current 10pm curfew policy makes even less sense and should be scrapped.

“Immediately scrapping the 10pm curfew would allow more sittings of single households in restaurants throughout the evening, helping with cashflow at a time when venues need all the support they can get.”

His comments come as England’s coronavirus restrictions tier system was described as “the worst of all worlds".

Stephen Reicher, professor of social psychology at the University of St Andrews, told the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus that the three-tier approach was a “good idea in principle” if it provided clarity and equity.

However, Prof Reicher, who is also a member of Sage, said there was a lack of clarity over what criteria was being used to place areas in different tiers, with variations of measures even within certain tiers.

He said: “So we have the worst of all worlds, we have a system where there is no sense of clarity. There is a growing sense of inequity and resistance.”

Prof Reicher warned if resistance was “politicised” it could risk bringing “polarisation”, as seen in the United States.

He added: “A tier system isn’t bad in and of itself, the way it’s been applied I think has been disastrous and is leading to political paralysis when we need action really quickly because infections are spiking.”