PUB bosses in the Bradford area have blasted the “ludicrous” new 10pm curfew which will see people spilling out onto the streets together – then continuing to drink at uncontrolled house parties.

The tough new measures introduced by the Government, which start on Thursday, will see bars, pubs and restaurants close at 10pm.

Steve Holt, owner and director of Kirkstall Brewery, which runs the Black Horse in Otley and the soon to re-open Sparrow on Bradford’s North Parade, said: “The late night curfew has not been thought through well. If pubs shut at 10pm, a lot of people will be out on the streets together and they’ll go back to someone’s home where there’s no hand sanitiser or social distancing.

“It doesn’t seem to make sense when bars and pubs have worked so hard to make changes. We’ve invested a lot to ensure the safety of our customers.

"We’re being really strict as an industry and are acting more responsibly than any other sector, but it seems like we’re being picked on.”

William Wagstaff, licensee of the Beehive in Shipley, called the curfew “rather ludicrous”.

“It’s highly damaging for the trade. It’s going to encourage a lot of young people, who come out late anyway, to drink at home and have parties,” he said.

“It’s not going to make much difference for food pubs because many of them shut at 10pm anyway, but it could be the last nail in the coffin for the ‘wet-led’ pubs. The pubs are devastated already and many of them are struggling to break even.”

The manager of a Saltaire pub added that the 10pm curfew will have a “big impact” on the district’s hospitality industry.

Donna Hamilton, manager at Salt Cellar said: “It would be a shame to see pubs crumble because of this. It’s been a struggle but we have to adhere to these rules so we can get rid of the virus and move on.”

Mr Wagstaff added: "For pubs that are open until 1am, those last three hours are key hours and could further damage their custom.”

Mr Holt added: “The Black Horse has quite a large outdoor eating and drinking area and stays open late, so it will have an impact, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights when we close at midnight. We will lose two hours of trade."