Johnson blames the chaos of his 10pm curfew on ‘hobnobbers’
Boris Johnson has defended the controversial 10pm curfew. And he’s blamed people who choose to “hobnob” outside pubs after hours for the sometimes chaotic scenes in city centres at closing time.
Scientists advising the government have already warned that the measure may be doing more harm than good. It’s caused long queues outside off-licences, as people rush to buy more alcohol, and revellers piling onto public transport with little or no social distancing.
The prime minister also said that if the Eat Out To Help Out discount scheme had helped to spread coronavirus (Covid-19), then that needs to be counteracted with “discipline”.
Asked to provide hard scientific evidence for the 10pm curfew, the PM told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show:
Well the scientific evidence is of course that the virus is transmitted by person-to-person contact.
Yes it’s transmitted in homes, it’s transmitted between people, but it’s also transmitted in what they call the hospitality sectors, it’s transmitted in pubs and bars and restaurants, particularly as people get more convivial as the evening goes on.
Johnson, referring to pub customers who’ve spent the evening drinking alcohol, said people “just need to follow the guidance”, and that:
Obviously it makes no sense if, having followed the guidance for all the time in the pub, they then pour out into the street and hobnob in such a way as to spread the virus.
The answer is for all of us to follow the guidance.
Eat out to spread it about
It was put to Johnson that the government was paying the public to go and eat out and urging them to return to offices, and that both had spread the virus.
He told Marr:
I take full responsibility for everything that’s happened since the pandemic began of course. And the Government is trying as I say throughout this to strike a balance. We had to go into lockdown in March and April and that was effective in bringing the virus down.
I think it was right to reopen the economy. I think if we hadn’t done that Andrew, if we hadn’t got things moving again in the summer, I mean we would be looking at many more hundreds of thousands of jobs lost.
It was again suggested that Eat Out To Help Out spread the virus. Johnson told the programme:
I also think, I also think that it is important now, irrespective of whether Eat Out To Help Out you know, what the balance of there was, it unquestionably helped to protect many… there are two million jobs at least in the hospitality sector.
It was very important to keep those jobs going. Now, if it, insofar as that scheme may have helped to spread the virus, then obviously we need to counteract that and we need to counteract that with the discipline and the measures that we’re proposing.
I hope you understand the balance we’re trying to strike.
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.
Leave a ReplyYou must be logged in to leave a comment.Join the conversation
Please read our comment moderation policy here.