Pubs and restaurants caused under 3% of recent coronavirus cases, figures show

Pubs, bars and restaurants caused less than 3% of recent Covid-19 infections, it has emerged.

Official data shows the hospitality industry was responsible for the low figure in the week before the 10pm curfew was announced.

But schools and care homes accounted for more than two thirds of all positive coronavirus tests.

The Public Health England weekly figures show the hospitality industry made up 22 out of 772 cases in the week leading up to September 20, the Sun reports.

It comes amid a fierce debate over how effective the strict curfew – which forces all pubs and restaurants to close by 10pm – actually is.

Scenes emerged over the weekend of huge crowds gathering in the streets across the country at closing time.

Concerns have been raised over the way it forces everyone to leave venues at the same time.

Critics say the rule is leaving them to cram onto public transport and drink at house parties instead, fuelling the risk of the disease spreading.

Sacha Lord, night-time adviser for Greater Manchester, blasted it as “ill-thought out” and shambolic.

He told the Telegraph: “If we had been consulted, we could have found ways to prevent this.

“I really hope the Government does a U-turn because it's going to escalate.

“It’s too big an issue to police.”

  • City centre chaos as huge crowds spill out of bars after 10pm in 'drunken mess'

But Care Minister Helen Whately said it was up to revellers to consider the risk to others when leaving boozers.

She told Times Radio: "I would ask those who are coming out of pubs and clubs at 10 o'clock and want to be out partying just to think about the potential consequences of what they are doing.

“If you are young and fit you may be thinking, ‘well if I get Covid it doesn't matter’.

“You may well pass it on to somebody else. So you may be putting someone else at risk.”

Ministers are reportedly drawing up emergency plans to close all pubs and restaurants across the north of England and London to combat a second wave of the virus.

They would be shut for two weeks in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease.

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