Restrictions will be brought in from 6.30pm as a temporary measure to mitigate against the spread of the coronavirus.
These will mean that:
*Nightclubs will have to close
*Bars that do not serve food will have to close
*Pubs and restaurants that serve prepared and plated food are also able to serve alcohol to their customers, provided that it is ancillary to the service of food
Restaurants and pubs which do serve food will need to observe new restrictions, which would mean alcohol can only be served with prepared or plated food to customers sat at tables.
These temporary measures will be reviewed in 10 days’ time.
'As we stated yesterday when we made our announcement on schools, we are in a position where it’s become less clear to what extent coronavirus may be spreading in our community,' said Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority Gavin St Pier.
'We will not take any chances. Bars and clubs present a very real risk. This will come at very short notice to licensees but we will not make apologies for taking swift action to protect our community. This is a fast-developing situation and we are having to react in real-time. We have worked to come up with a proportionate solution, given the circumstances. Licensees must not only respect the new legal restrictions, but also the reasons we are introducing them. In other words, we expect both customers and licensees to follow the spirit not the letter of the law.
'If anyone is trying to think about how they can ‘get around’ these rules, they have failed to grasp the severity of the emergency we face and our determination to act in the wider interests of the community. We will have no hesitation whatsoever, as I’ve said before, in continuing to introduce stricter and more prescriptive rules, if we judge it is the right thing to do. We don’t want to do any of this. And we want as many businesses as possible to continue trading for as long as possible but, as I’ve said before, our ability to do so is entirely dependent on everyone working together to minimise the impact of this virus. Today’s measures are to reduce contact between individuals and support social distancing recommendations.’
The measures are part of a response to delays in receiving the results of tests for coronavirus.
Efforts to resume timely testing through the UK have been 'encouraging' and it is expected the results of these tests will soon start coming back more quickly. Work to introduce on-island testing in April is also under way.
The restrictions on licensed premises are part of a ‘pause and assess’ strategy, and once there is reliable data, and if it shows that community seeding is not occurring, it is hoped that the restrictions can be lifted.