Local leaders have explained the reasoning behind the 9pm alcohol ban introduced for Nottinghamshire under tier 3 restrictions.
Under the new rules, which came into effect on Friday this week, shops across the county are now not permitted to sell alcohol after 9pm.
This is a measure which is specific to Nottinghamshire and has so far not been introduced for any other region under tier 3 restrictions.
So why was the ban introduced here and not elsewhere?
Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health for Nottingham City Council, explained the decision at a public health briefing on Friday, October 30.
She said: “What we’ve seen over recent weeks is, with the closure of pubs and bars at 10pm, that has led to a significant number of people leaving those pubs and bars all at the same time.
“That has led to crowds, it’s led to queues, and we have seen people queue outside a lot of the off-licenses and retail premises to purchase alcohol.
“So this is something that we have seen happen quite a lot. Some of the reasons for this will be to go onto house parties to continue because there is a 10pm closure.
“So the idea behind bringing the time forward by an hour is to stagger the crowds and prevent that build up and if possible prevent that spontaneous purchase of alcohol that then goes on potentially to a house party.”
Councillor Kay Cutts, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, told Nottinghamshire Live the measure was also something police wanted to see implemented.
She said: “The 9pm ban on alcohol was something that the police wanted to see.
“In the springtime we had a lot of parties to the late or small hours of the morning, people getting together in public parks and drinking.
“What we feared might happen, what the police feared might happen, is that people would go to the pub, they’d have a meal and some drinks, they would come out and go straight to the shops and off licence to buy a bottle and go to continue partying elsewhere.
“We’re trying to stop that. That is something that has been blighting a bit of Nottinghamshire, particularly the younger elements because of course younger people don’t think they’re ever going to catch anything.
“That’s where it came from, and we have supported [the police] on that.
“There are those amongst them that said 10pm was a good time, but we thought 9pm was a better time because you could just nip out before 10pm to go to the off licence or supermarket.”
Off licenses in Nottingham have criticised the decision, stating it will cost them up to £300 a day and will “not stop students having house parties”.