PUBS and restaurants across the city could stay shut until July, as new powers are given the council.

The government has extended the coronavirus lockdown powers given to local councils.

The specially created powers give Brighton and Hove City Council, as well as all other local authorities, the ability to close venues and tape off public areas.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the measures were due to expire next week, but have been extended to mid-July.

Tory MP Mark Harper told the Telegraph: "The extension of councils Covid powers until July will be of great concern to those worried about their jobs and businesses.

READ MORE >> Coronavirus: Brighton Centre mass vaccination site opens

"Once the top four risk groups have been vaccinated and fully protected by March 8, assuming the Government hits the February 15 deadline, the government must start easing the restrictions.

"Vaccinations will, of course, bring immunity from Covid, but they must bring immunity from lockdowns and restrictions too."

The move does not mean lockdown is extended but it does give local authorities the power to introduce restrictions should the shutdown be lifted.

It comes as the Brighton Centre has opened as a mass vaccination site.

The seafront site in Kings Road is one of 32 which are to open across the country this week, NHS England said.

The new vaccination centres will be focusing on offering jabs to health and social care staff today, before opening their doors to other priority patients from Tuesday.