Great Britain

Brits in Tier 2 hotspots CAN meet for lunch if it’s work-related, minister confirms

BRITS in Tier 2 hotspots CAN meet up with others for lunch if it's work-related, a Cabinet minister confirmed last night.

Pals can dodge the lockdown rules thanks to a loophole that allows meetings for “work purposes".

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told ITV's Peston show that the loophole was in place to help businesses operate "as normally as we can" during the crisis.

This means people living in areas like London, York and Manchester can pop out for a drink at their favourite pub without a slap on the wrist.

Under Tier 2 and 3 rules you cannot socialise indoors unless you live in the same household.

While Under Tier 3 pubs and bars will be closed unless they serve meals.

Up to 30 people from different households can meet up indoors for work, as long as the venue adheres to covid guidelines, government guidance says.

Explaining why the Government decided to allow work lunches, Mr Dowden told Peston: "We've made a conscious choice through this crisis to prioritise people's jobs and livelihoods, and that means allowing people to go to work or as normally as we can in this crisis.

"Work includes business functions and that's why the definition has been extended to cover this.

"It is part of saying that people can interact as part of their work in business."

Some of London's most exclusive restaurants have emailed guests urging them to take advantage of the loophole.

Caprice, which owns a string of expensive restaurants in London such as The Ivy, J Sheekey and Daphne's, said; "We wish to make it clear - when the topic is business, you can still meet over a fabulous working lunch or dinner without the restriction of the 'single household rule', i.e. mixed households are permitted up to six guests."

And told their guests that they can even host "up to 30 people within our private dining spaces for business meetings".

Westminster Council said at least one business owner has already been pointed towards the loophole after discussing the possibility of staging working lunches.

JOB FEARS

Tough lockdown restrictions will see a staggering 750,000 jobs lost in the hospitality sector by February, it was claimed last night.

Half of businesses are now expected to fail over the winter unless an improved rescue package is devised by Ministers, a study reveals.

More than three-quarters are failing to break even with only one in ten are trading in profit, a survey of the sector found.

Pubs and restaurants bosses forecast the sector faces a catastrophic future unless more government support is granted in the coming weeks.

Eighty-nine per cent of those working in the sector were pessimistic about its future - with only three per cent taking an optimistic stance.

Almost half of those questioned believe restrictions will hit their turnover by more than fifty per cent if they continue over the Christmas period.

The findings were uncovered in a survey of members of UK Hospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer and Pub Association.

The study shows there will be 750,000 less jobs in the sector compared to February 2020 unless action is taken.

A joint spokesperson for the trade bodies last night said: “There can be no doubt of the devastating impact that the Government’s restrictions are having on hospitality and pub businesses across the UK.

“Without urgent sector-specific support for our industry, massive business failure is imminent and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost around Christmas from a sector that was in growth at the beginning of this year, as well as in the supply chain that supports them.”

Football news:

Dele Ayenugba: they didn't believe in African goalkeepers in Europe, but now a Senegalese is playing in Chelsea, and a Cameroonian is playing in Ajax
Bavaria has watched the midfielder, Inter Aguma. He was included in the list of the best born in 2002
Davies can play in the match Bayern-Lokomotiv, Kimmich-at the beginning of the new year
Barcelona can sign Atalanta midfielder de Ron for free
Hyslop on the racism of Newcastle fans: from 50 yards they insulted me, from 50 feet they sang my name
Hertha celebrated the victory with empty stands: they applauded, talked, Guendouzi even threw a t-shirt
Tuchel does not intend to renew his contract with PSG. He will become a free agent in the summer