PUBS and restaurants face being shut down for 7 days by their local councils if they’re not Covid-secure – or they might face a £4,000 fine.
Councils are due to get fresh powers to marshall their areas from when the lockdown ends next month, it was confirmed today.
Shops, cafes and other indoor venues can be closed for 24 hours if they are deemed to be breaking strict rules to keep the nation safe from catching the virus.
And they can shut it down for up to a week if they seriously breach the laws – or do so after being warned they have to buck up.
Authorities can issue notices directly to them, without having to rely on health and safety chiefs to do it instead.
The new powers will give busybodies the authority to slap fines on firms from December 2 onwards, when England’s lockdown ends.
A No10 spokesperson said today: “Until now, local authorities have been able to issue fines to businesses who have failed to comply with their legal obligations to be Covid secure.
“The new powers will allow them to formally request rapid improvement or close these premises where appropriate through the issuing of notices.”
He added: “These new powers will ensure local authorities are equipped with the right tools to ensure rapid improvements where premises are not Covid secure.”
But they stressed that local Covid-marshalls, who are there to give people advice on how to stay safe, wouldn’t be able to issue fines.
Under the new Tier rules, pubs, restaurants and indoor entertainment including theatres and cinemas will have to shut.
Soft play areas and casinos will also have to close their doors until the area comes out of the top level of rules.
In Tier 2 pubs will have to make sure they are serving a substantial meal with all of their booze, too.
But the 10pm curfew has been ditched, and people will get an extra hour to drink up the last of their pints before being ordered to leave.
Gyms, beauty salons and all shops will be allowed to reopen.
But areas haven’t been told yet which tier they will go into.
MPs are gearing up for a fight to keep their constituencies out of the toughest rules.