TOUGHER new coronavirus restrictions announced by the Prime Minister have been branded “unhelpful” and “extremely disruptive” for York.

Boris Johnson today (Tuesday) said the UK had reached a “perilous turning point” in its fight against coronavirus, and new measures would require pubs to close at 10pm and a maximum of 15 people to attend weddings.

The restrictions will be in place for six months, he added.

But Conservative MP for York Outer, Julian Sturdy, said he would have liked to have heard a "clearer timeframe", adding being told the measures would be in place for six months was "unhelpful".

“It is important to give businesses and consumers hope that if restrictions are successful in curbing the virus then there is a prospect for easing them before the end of the year," he said.

“Another emerging issue is the impact these latest restrictions will have on our general health, most notably the continued backlog of cancer treatment and screening.”

And a spokesman for The Principal hotel in York said the decision is “extremely disruptive” and will severely impact weddings over the next six months, with many cancelled or rescheduled for next year.

While York Museum Trust said it was doing “everything it can” to provide assurances and advice on what the best next steps are for people who have weddings scheduled.

Outlining the plans in the House of Commons earlier today, Mr Johnson said that from Monday no more than 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, in a tightening of the “rule of six”.

The new restrictions also ask people who can work from home to do so, while hospitality venues must close by 10pm from Thursday.

Pubs must operate a table service system, and retail staff and taxi customers will be required to wear masks. Indoor sports will now have to follow the rule of six.

If people fail to abide by the rules, they will receive fines of £200 for a first-time offence.

York Central MP Rachael Maskell said Mr Johnson failed to give any information on further financial help for businesses affected by the latest restrictions – with the furlough scheme still scheduled to finish next month.

She said: “Covid-19 has challenged us all, but with infection rates rising sharply again, and in the absence of an effective test and trace system, there is no choice but for greater biosecurity measures to be adhered to.

“I further welcome the Government’s u-turn, now to encourage those who can work at home, to do so, reducing the risk that contact creates.

“But I am deeply troubled that the Prime Minister is still refusing to extend vital economic support packages and address the needs of York people who have been denied support through this pandemic, like the self-employed or extending parts of the furlough scheme.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, of City of York Council, said: “We’re calling on the Government to introduce a support package tailored to the needs of the hospitality industry to protect jobs in York.”