Friday 27 November 2020 8:23 pm

Tier two diners must leave pubs when meals are finished

People living in areas under tier two restrictions will have to leave pubs once they have finished eating, Number 10 confirmed today.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman today said that pubgoers would not be able to linger for more drinks once they have finished their meals.

Read more: It’s closing time for the nation’s pubs and bars — perhaps for good

He said: “We’ve been clear that, in Tier 2 I believe, that you need to have a substantial meal if ordering any alcohol and it remains the case that the guidance says that once the meal is finished, it is at that point.”

Official guidance is yet to clarify what defines a “substantial meal”. 

The revelation is yet another blow the the country’s pubs, which have been hammered by coronavirus restrictions.

Under the new rules, pubs in tier two areas – like London – will only be able to serve drinks to those eating, while those in tier three aread must remain closed.

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However, with the whole of the UK under tier two or three restrictions with the exception of the Isle of Wight, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly, the industry has warned it is facing its “darkest of moments”.

UK Hospitality has warned that if the planned restrictions remain in place for the whole of the month, pubs could lose £7.8bn in trading. 

Pubs and restaurants are also awaiting further guidance on whether business lunches will be allowed in tier two areas, as they were under the previous tier system.

At that time, the government created a specific exemption so that workers who could not meet elsewhere could meet in hospitality venues.

Read more: Pubs in tier two and three still in lockdown ‘in all but name’

Office workers were asked to avoid such venues, but this was never enshrined in law, leading to many restaurants to accept bookings from business people.

It is as yet unclear whether the situation will remain the same this time around.