The government’s own scientific guidance states curfews on the hospitality trade are only likely to have a “marginal impact” in the fight against coronavirus.

Documents released by SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) said there was “low confidence” a measure such as the 10pm curfew would help reduce transmission rates.

The closure of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants will only have only a “moderate impact”, with a potential reduction in the R infection number of 0.1 or 0.2.

The documents do say the risk is higher in pubs and bars than in other indoor settings, due to the close proximity of people, long exposure, lack of face coverings and loud talking that can generate aerosols.

It says some venues are poorly ventilated, especially in winter, while the consumption of alcohol impacts behaviour.

The report mentions “multiple anecdotal reports” of outbreaks linked to bars in the UK, Europe and US, though fails to detail them.

It also references a controversial US report, which has been used to justify restrictions on hospitality , which suggests those who test positive twice as likely to have eaten at a restaurant.