A HEAD chef has criticised the latest government virus measures, saying diners will not have enough time to complete his tasting menu.

Days after the Prime Minister made a public address to the nation outlining new restrictions, the Brighton restaurateur

criticised the decision to introduce a curfew.

The latest measures announced by Boris Johnson will force all pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm from today, just months after they were given the green light to reopen.

George Thomas, 25, is the head chef and co-owner of at Isaac At in Gloucester Street, Brighton.

The restaurant has a first sitting at 6pm and another at 8pm.

A 10pm curfew means diners would struggle to finish a tasting menu that normally takes up to three hours, especially if they want drinks afterwards.

Mr Thomas said: “It is somewhat ludicrous that they are putting the 10pm curfew on to restaurants. It should go on to pubs.

“No one wants to eat before six o’clock so now restaurants only have four hours of an evening to make money.

“Lockdown restrictions are designed for London, not for the entire country.”

In March, the government took the step to close all pubs, clubs and restaurants in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

Almost four months later, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers were allowed to reopen but with strict social distancing rules in place.

Now they face a fine up to £10,000 if they take reservations of more than six, do not enforce social distancing or do not take customers’ contact details.

Further measures mean bar and waiting staff have to wear masks, as do customers when they are not seated at a table to eat or drink.

Mr Thomas said face coverings made it harder for staff to provide good service.

He said: “We have a lot of protocols in place, including hand sanitiser and space between tables.

“Masks do make it harder to deliver good service because there is muffling, but it isn’t an issue.

“If that is what’s needed to keep the public safe than that is what we are going to do to keep the public safe.

“It isn’t the end of the world to wear a mask in service.”

Meanwhile another new rule, that of only six people being allowed to gather together, was discussed in the House of Lords yesterday.

If six people went to dinner and two of the party left, another two people could join the group and this would be abiding by the government’s “rule of six”, a minister said.

Shadow House of Lords leader Baroness Smith of Basildon said: “If I decide to go out for a curry tonight and take five other noble lords with me, that’s the rule of six, and six of us will enjoy our meal in the restaurant.

“But if two of those noble lords come back for last business, does that mean we have to stay as four so other noble lords from the cross-benches perhaps could join us for dessert?

“Is the rule of six the rule of six at any one point, or can that six change during the course of the evening?”

House of Lords Leader Baroness Evans of Bowes Park replied: “In relation to her questions about the rules, my personal interpretation would be that she could indeed invite two noble lords to join her for curry if two had left as the rule is about six people – and children are counted as individuals so they’re counted as one of the number of the six.”

The government’s new coronavirus restrictions are doing “incalculable harm” to many, Tory peers have warned.

Lord Robathan said: “Now two weeks ago, the number of deaths was approximately 11 or 12 a day. In the last seven days it’s just about doubled, the number fluctuates, but it appears to be going up but still it is only between one per cent and two per cent of the average daily death rate in this country – and that is after three months of greater social mingling.

“Now this policy, I regret to say, is incoherent, it is illogical and without a vaccine, it is unending.

“It is doing incalculable harm to our livelihoods, to our lives, to our economy, to our country’s future and, worst of all, to our children’s future.”

Baroness Altmann said: “Can I ask (Baroness Evans) what assessments the government and its advisers have made of the evidence from Sweden which has managed so much better by not accepting the modelling assumptions predicting significant deaths?

“What estimates have its advisers and the CMO [chief medical officer] made of the number of deaths from undetected or untreated other illnesses such as cancer, stroke, heart failure and suicide that are

resulted from the NHS’s seemingly singular focus on one singular illness?

“My lords, we may not be choosing between deaths from Covid and the economy, maybe the

choice has been between deaths from Covid and deaths from other causes.”