All London pubs that cannot open tomorrow when Covid restrictions are eased will be given £1,000.
London’s pubs can only open tomorrow if they are able to offer “substantial meals” to punters, meaning that scores of venues will stay closed in the lead up to Christmas.
Boris Johnson made the announcement at the start of today’s House of Commons debate on the government’s new tiered Covid restrictions.
MPs will vote on the measures this evening, with up to 100 Tory MPs expected to vote against the government.
Speaking about the hospitality hand out, Johnson told MPs: “Our pubs, hotels and restaurants are at the heart o four community and a apart of our identity as a country.
“The hospitality industry has borne a disproportionate share of the burden in this crisis.”
London will be in Tier 2 in the new system, which will allow retail and hospitality to open under strict conditions.
Pubs and restaurants can only serve patrons if they order a “substantial meal” and household mixing will not be allowed indoors.
Environment secretary George Eustice said yesterday that a scotch egg would count as substantial, opening the door to an animated discussion in the media on what else would count under the new rules.
Dozens of Tory MPs have said they will today vote against the new regionalised rules, after the government’s analysis of the new system, released yesterday, was widely panned.
Scores of Conservative MPs said the release provided no new information on how the three-tiered regional restrictions could affect the UK’s economy beyond what the Office for Budget Responsiblity (OBR) said last week.
The OBR predicts GDP will contract by 11.3 per cent this year – the largest contraction for 300 years.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer announced last night that his party would abstain from today’s vote, meaning there would need to be around 150 rebel Tory MPs to vote down the new measures.
This is considered to be highly unlikely.