Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for the 10pm curfew to be scrapped now the capital is under Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Khan said allowing restaurants to remain open beyond 10pm would support businesses by allowing them to increase bookings even with indoor mixing of households banned.
The England-wide early closing order for pubs, bars and restaurants came into effect on 24 September, with prime minister Boris Johnson warning at the time that it could last as long as six months.
In a statement Khan said: “I have said for a while that the current curfew rule needs to be rapidly reviewed. We saw the worrying consequences of increased social mixing on the streets and on public transport in the capital around 10pm immediately after its introduction.
“Now London and other parts of the country have moved into tier 2 and higher restrictions, which prohibit household mixing, the current 10pm curfew policy makes even less sense and should be scrapped.
“Immediately scrapping the 10pm curfew would allow more sittings of single households in restaurants throughout the evening, helping with cashflow at a time when venues need all the support they can get.
“The Government still haven’t got a grip on this virus and provided a functioning test and trace system. Ministers must give businesses the support they need to survive while restrictions remain in place. This includes access to a proper job retention scheme in line with the 80 per cent furlough scheme in place at the start of the pandemic.”