THE Bournemouth MP lobbying for an end to the 10pm curfew has admitted the “medical data works against” an immediate change.

Tobias Ellwood was due to see the prime minister on Thursday, October 15, to discuss calls from pubs and restaurants to scrap the legal requirement to close early.

The meeting has been postponed until next week.

On Friday, the number of infections per 100,000 people reached 537 in the BCP Council area. The Bournemouth East MP pointed out that people had to quarantine when returning to the UK from countries with more than 20 infections per 100,000.

“What we’re seeing is the wave that the medical people said was on its way,” he said.

“The level of infections is showing another huge rise. All the medical data works against us in calling for greater flexibility in hospitality.”

He said a call for an immediate end to the curfew would have “fallen on deaf ears”.

“What we need is to place it into context when we get through this immediate challenge, so that with preparations for Christmas we can say the 10pm curfew should be reviewed.”

He said he would be against a second national lockdown but would prefer to temporarily curtail domestic travel above a limt of between 5-15 miles.

Andy Lennox, who set up the hospitality lobby group Wonky Table, has written to MPs over the curfew. He said a “circuit breaker” – a short national lockdown – was likely and that the industry “would rather have this than the various restrictions in place”.

“A financial package for this lockdown must now be our main priority to go alongside furlough,” he said.

“If the curfew is to return after the circuit breaker, which is more than likely, we must have it at 11pm. We must also look at a full night time economy financial package for the closed nightclub and events sector,” he added.

In a letter to MPs throughout the BCP conurbation, the group has also called for an indefinite extension to the five per cent VAT rate introduced to help hospitality.

JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin added his voice to calls for an end to the curfew as the pub chain reported its first annual loss in 36 years. Sales took a £556million hit from the Covid crisis.