“Nuts.” “No logic.” “A crushing blow.”

The industry wasn’t impressed by the idea of a curfew. And that was the reaction before Boris Johnson handed down a punitive six month sentence.

Frustration at the prospect was palpable and understandable, primarily because hospitality is being treated like a leading cause of infection rates rising when it isn’t.

The data, which shows hospitality is responsible for 5% of infections at most, proves that the impact of the curfew will not have a big impact on infections. But it will have a huge impact on the industry.

Weeks after EOHO shone a ray of positivity into the hospitality sector, the curfew has emerged like a big black cloud at a BBQ.

In a non-exhaustive list, the later it gets the faster people drink and the more they spend, so shutting at 10pm eliminates a big happy hour for pubs. It also means many restaurants will be unable to turn tables in an evening, a practice that has never been more important than now. The U-turn on working from home is terrible news for urban-based coffee shops and food to go. As for nightclubs, it will be the finishing blow for many. Christmas is not going to be very merry.

Inevitably it all means more redundancies. The cuts at Whitbread and Wetherspoons added thousands more yesterday. And in six weeks furlough comes to an end. 666 may be the number of the beast, now a triple six is turning out to be a bad omen for hospitality. The rule of six, there are six weeks until the end of furlough, and now six months of curfew.

The opprobrium generated by operators yesterday revealed the exasperation of the sector.

Huge amounts of time and money have been spent to make premises safe.

Despite hospitality working so hard to provide safe spaces for people to socialise in, it now has to eject bunches of them by a relatively early 10pm. Many people will simply regroup to carry on the party elsewhere, indoors or outdoors, ironically in exactly the type of unrestricted gatherings the government is trying to avoid. Pushing them out, rather than keeping them in a safe yet sociable environment, seems worse.

In all, it was a grim day for hospitality. Yes, if it was up to some scientists and ministers the entire sector could have been shut down again, an unthinkable situation. But still, unquestionably we are now in reverse.

If there is a tiny plus side it’s that imposing these new restrictions may mean the prospect of a targeted extension of furlough for hospitality, and similar supportive schemes, has been revived.

You’d think that would be the logical approach. In parliament the PM acknowledged there would be further “demands” for support and referred to Rishi Sunak using his “imagination and creativity” to deal with them. No doubt Rishi has both, but he will need more than that to deliver what’s required now.