Essentially, Tier 2 means a pie, a pint and a plod back home.
Those living under Tier 2 restrictions in England have been warned they can only order alcoholic drinks with a substantial meal, and it has now been confirmed that you cannot order any more drinks once your food is finished. Under Tier 2 rules, pubs can only remain open if they function as restaurants, and people can only purchase alcohol if done so alongside a substantial meal.
Asked how long drinkers can stay in pubs after purchasing a meal, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman 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.”
While yesterday’s announcement of Tier 2 rules bought some hope for London’s hard-pressed hospitality sector, today’s clarification is likely to be seen as yet another imposition on struggling businesses, as alcohol sales are traditionally where most restaurants and pubs turn the largest profit. Tier 2 rules have also stipulated that those wanting to order soft drinks or coffee do not need to eat a substantial meal.
However, amongst other questions such as what counts as a “substantial meal”, the government stated that business lunches will be allowed, and there will be no restrictions on table size for groups from one household or support bubble. Tier 2 rules also ban people from socialising indoors with people from outside their household, meaning drinkers should only be inside a pub with someone they live with.
According to the guidelines, “substantial meals” are defined as “a full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal”.
Here’s a quick recap of London’s rules under Tier 2.
- No mixing with other households indoors, except for support bubbles.
- Outdoor gatherings of up to six are permitted under the “rule of six”.
- Pubs serving food are allowed to reopen, but “wet pubs” will have to close.
- Pubs, bars and restaurants will only be allowed to serve alcohol with a “substantial meal”.
- Last orders will be 10pm, but venues must close at 11pm.
- Outdoor grassroots sport and exercise classes are allowed.
- Gyms are allowed to reopen, regardless of tier.
- Non-essential shops will reopen all over the country.
- Salons (hairdressers, tattoo studios, etc) will be open.
- Up to 2000 fans (or 50% capacity, whichever is lower) can attend outdoor sporting events, and 1000 fans for indoor events.
- Weddings can take place with up to 15 guests, including a reception. Funerals can go ahead with up to 30 guests.
- We’re advised to travel as little as possible, and avoid Tier 3 areas except for things like work, education and medical visits.
- Overnight stays (staycations) are permitted, with members of your household or support bubble.
- Restrictions will be lifted across the UK for a five day period over Christmas, from December 23–27.
When England’s lockdown ends on December 2, areas will be placed back into tiers, with 99% of the country set to be placed into either Tier 2 or 3, and 57.25% of the population under Tier 2 rules.