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September 30, 2020

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Coronavirus: Retail staff put ‘at risk’ by early pub closing

Retail union Usdaw fears that new government regulations requiring pubs to close at 10pm is putting shop workers at a greater risk of violence, verbal abuse and coronavirus infection.

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, Usdaw, has warned the government that shops which are open after 10pm in England were likely to become ‘very busy’ and see ‘increased risk of antisocial behaviour’ as a result of new guidance which means pubs must close at 10pm. Here, the BBC looks into whether there is evidence behind the 10pm pub closing time.

The government introduced the measures following a spike in coronavirus cases, taking ‘immediate action’ to ‘save lives’, but Usdaw says that people are likely to turn to shops to buy alcohol after pubs shut, putting retail workers at risk instead.

Earlier this week, Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham called for ‘urgent review’ of the 10pm closure guidance.

Mr Burnham said supermarkets, convenience stores and off-licences were now “packed out to the rafters” after closing time.

Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis told the BBC the situation had left him “deeply concerned” for staff.

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