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Bars and clubs to shut at midnight from tonight

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Bars and clubs were ordered to shut at midnight from tonight under tougher regulations to protect against Covid-19.

The two-hour cut to opening hours, published today in the Official Gazette, came after a spike in coronavirus cases.

Bars and clubs will also not be allowed to reopen before 8am.

Sales of alcohol between midnight and 8am, except drinks delivered to guests in their hotel rooms, were also banned.

A police officer of the rank of Inspector or above can, if there is reasonable cause to suspect a breach of the rules, close licensed premises for up to 24 hours.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said: "With the increase in locally-transmitted cases of Covid-19, we felt it prudent to amend the regulations to minimise the time where people may be socialising together inside of a closed space.

“Also, as we all know, increased alcohol consumption can lead to poor judgment calls and slips in protective health measures.

“The ministry’s contact tracing investigations strongly suggest that it is social mixing or gatherings of people that are most likely to produce local transmission and positive cases.”

Ms Wilson appealed to people to “keep their social bubbles small” and to wear a mask in public or when with people from outside their own households.

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Published December 05, 2020 at 6:18 pm (Updated December 05, 2020 at 6:43 pm)

Bars and clubs to shut at midnight from tonight

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