All eyes will be on tier 2 pubs tomorrow as they finally reopen after the month-long shutdown with tough new rules that only allow alcohol to be served with food.
Drinkers hoping to get around the new restrictions were offered some relief yesterday when Cabinet minister George Eustice said a Scotch egg with your pint could be classed as a ‘substantial meal’.
But there are still several loopholes for Brits wanting to enjoy a pint or a glass of wine without ordering food.
The ‘substantial meal’ clause does not apply to sports grounds, concert halls, theatres and cinemas, where alcohol will be served to punters as long as they have a ticket for the event.
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You can order your drinks in the bar area, but it must be consumed at your seat, according to government guidance.
Unfortunately, this will not be possible for the lucky football fans who have secured a ticket to a game in the Premier League and EFL, where booze is still banned within view of the pitch.
Under the new rules, a maximum of 4,000 fans will be allowed at outdoor events in tier 1.
Up to 2,000 fans are allowed in tier 2 areas, but sports grounds will remain closed to fans in tier 3.
Indoor venues like theatres and cinemas in tiers 1 and 2 can seat up to 1,000 people, or up to 50% capacity – whichever is lower. Tier 3 venues will have to stay shut.
The pub loophole comes after Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will be forced to stop selling alcohol and to shut by 6pm from Friday.
Under the rules, hospitality businesses will only be allowed to offer a takeaway service after 6pm, but a complete ban on alcohol sales will not extend to supermarkets or off-licences which must already stop selling alcoholic drinks after 10pm.
Cinemas, bowling alleys and other indoor entertainment venues will also close, but the new restrictions will not apply to non-essential retail, hairdressers, gyms and leisure centres.
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