Wednesday 2 December 2020 9:03 am

From today, business lunches are allowed again

Business lunches inside ARE allowed under new Tier 2 restrictions, so from today, the Government has confirmed.

The Business Department confirmed the policy to City A.M. earlier.

Official sources have though said that a traditional office Christmas lunch would not be permitted under the rules coming into place in London today.

Government guidance dictates that individuals in Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas should not meet socially in any indoor setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble.

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But just as before the national lockdown, essential business lunches in indoor settings are allowed – a welcome boon for the capital’s entrepreneurs, lobbyists and restaurateurs.

Business people will still have to enjoy a substantial meal if they wish to drink alcohol.

One City figure told City A.M. after hearing the news: “All of us have a responsibility to the nation to help out and I’ll be doing my duty at my usual table.”

Hospitality firms have been amongst the hardest hit from lockdown restrictions in 2020, with the trade’s main representative body warning of job losses in the hundreds of thousands.

A number of restaurants have recently advertised their business lunch policy, with south London institution the Kennington Tandoori among those confirming they will host “reasonable necessary business meetings” from Wednesday.

Martin Williams, the restaurateur behind M Restaurants and Gaucho, told City A.M.: “Perhaps now that business meetings have been confirmed as ‘permitted’ the Mayor of London may re-appear from his invisible cloak and attempt to encourage businesses to start carrying out face to face meetings (in covid-secure restaurant venues) which will prove a lifeline for all too many great restaurants, which are on the brink of collapse.

“At Gaucho and M Restaurants the confirmation that business meetings are permitted is excellent news and we encourage Londoners to join us during the festive period in the joy of dining in our Covid-secure, safe and sociable restaurants.

“Next we need to extend the three household rule during the 5 day ‘Christmas Break’ to restaurants,” he continued.