Food hall Mercato Metropolitano will open today after police reversed their decision to force it to close early ahead of the new lockdown.
Earlier today the venue announced that it had been ordered to close until further notice by police after its last customers left at seven minutes past the 10pm curfew time on Monday.
The enforced closure of the Elephant & Castle venue came just two days before it would have had to shut anyway due to a second national lockdown.
Under existing government rules, hospitality businesses must have all customers out of the door by 10 at the latest.
But after disbelief on social media this afternoon the company said that the police had overturn the decision.
As a result, Mercato Metropolitano will open today for the final time ahead of tomorrow’s month long lockdown.
In a statement, the company said: “Yesterday’s incident was the reaction of an over-zealous individual which we knew was not representative of the standard policies of either the Metropolitan police or Southwark Council.
“We are grateful we have another day of opportunity to serve our community before the lockdown, and we sincerely thank the Metropolitan Police, Southwark Council and Mayor of London for enabling us to do so.”
The company had warned that the shutdown would impact their trading partners, which are preparing for the new lockdown period.
The 10pm curfew has been slammed by the sector as non-sensical, with many questioning the science behind the rule.
Emma McClarkin, chief exec of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has said that there is “no hard evidence” that closing early has any impact on infection rates.
And others have pointed out that forcing everyone to leave by 10pm creates overcrowding on public transport.
Mercato Metropolitano said that its grocery, which has been providing free school meals for vulnerable children, will remain open.
Ahead of Thursday’s lockdown, it said that it would today hand out surplus food from its trading partners to locals.