PEOPLE queued outside off licences last night as weekend revellers faced a 10pm coronavirus curfew. 

All pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England have to close at 10pm in an effort to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

As pub-goers in Brighton city centre – on their first Friday night since the introduction of the measures – were told to leave the bars, many headed straight into off licences. 

Large queues were reported just after 10pm outside shops selling alcohol.

“Brighton city centre is full of confused people as the 10PM closure has caused mass panic and dozens queuing at various off-licences to continue drinking,” said one Twitter user. 

A restaurant-goer, who asked not to be named, said: “Went for pizza quite late and they kicked us out with pizza still on our plates near enough at 9.50pm. 

“The offie on the way home had a queue like it was giving away free booze.”

The 10pm curfew, used elsewhere in local lockdowns, will be rolled out across the country to try to prevent alcohol-fuelled breaches of social distancing rules.

As more measures are announced, the Government will still be hammering home its “hands, face, space” message as the most effective form of virus control.

On Thursday night, Good Morning Britain reported live from outside Mash Tun in Church Street. 

“Some were caught out by the curfew it has to be said,” correspondent Jonathan Swain told viewers. 

“Others just got round it by starting drinking much earlier.

The Argus:

“That’s fine if you’re in a student city like Brighton and just popping out for a drink with your mates. 

“Where it has more of a commercial impact I think is for restaurants and those places serving food.”

Brighton students Katie Duffy and Amy Hall told the programme: “Everyone’s going out at like 5/6pm instead of 8/9pm so we’re getting the same amount of hours in, just a couple of hours earlier.”