There is a “higher risk” of contracting coronavirus associated with hospitality venues, the UK’s culture secretary has said.
Oliver Dowden told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that there were “challenges” linked with the hospitality industry, including “that you can’t wear a mask when you’re sat down and eating”, “social interaction with people you don’t normally meet” and “ventilation”.
Dowden said the issue was something he had discussed with the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.
On the new lockdown restrictions for England, Dowden added: “We are taking reasonable and proportionate measures because we can see the risks coming down the line.”
Earlier, the culture secretary told Sky News he hoped the virus could be under control after Christmas.
“If those measures are successful we hope to be able to take areas out of those high levels of restrictions,” he said.
“The purpose of doing this is to ensure we get the virus under control so by the time that we get through to after Christmas we are in that position where it is under control.
“Indeed I hope it will be sooner than that.”