Drinkers enjoy a tipple in London’s bustling Borough Market ahead of new Tier 2 lockdown rules

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Hundreds of drinkers enjoyed a pint in London‘s busy Borough market ahead of next week’s Tier 2 lockdown rules which will see pub-goers having to order a ‘substantial meal’ with their drink. 

Under current lockdown restrictions, pubs and restaurants are allowed to open to serve takeaway drinks and food.

But next week as of December 2, the capital will be put into Tier 2 where pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. 

It means that pub-goers can’t go in for a quick pint – pubs can only serve booze alongside a ‘substantial meal’ – including outside. It leaves drink-led pubs weighing up whether it was even commercially viable to trade.

Drinkers braced the cold weather in the capital’s Borough market to drink takeaway pints outside ahead of the new Tier 2 rules. 

With hundreds mulling around the market, many were unable to safely socially distance and many were not wearing face masks. 

Hundreds gathered in Borough Market today to enjoy takeaway drinks and food ahead of London being placed under Tier 2 rules. They were not socially distancing and many were not wearing face masks

A couple drinks a takeaway pint and coffee from Borough Market. Under current lockdown restrictions, pubs and restaurants are allowed to open to serve takeaway drinks and food

A couple drinks a takeaway pint and coffee from Borough Market. Under current lockdown restrictions, pubs and restaurants are allowed to open to serve takeaway drinks and food

A couple drinks a takeaway pint and coffee from Borough Market. Under current lockdown restrictions, pubs and restaurants are allowed to open to serve takeaway drinks and food

Crowds gathered in Borough Market today. Next week as of December 2, the capital will be put into Tier 2 where pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants

Crowds gathered in Borough Market today. Next week as of December 2, the capital will be put into Tier 2 where pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants

Crowds gathered in Borough Market today. Next week as of December 2, the capital will be put into Tier 2 where pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants

Security personnel in London Borough Market spoke to people gathered in Borough Market today as many were not socially distancing

Security personnel in London Borough Market spoke to people gathered in Borough Market today as many were not socially distancing

Security personnel in London Borough Market spoke to people gathered in Borough Market today as many were not socially distancing

A couple enjoy a takeaway pint from Borough Market. The new lockdown rules as of December 2 means that pub-goers can't go in for a quick pint - pubs can only serve booze alongside a 'substantial meal' - including outside. It leaves drink-led pubs weighing up whether it was even commercially viable to trade.

A couple enjoy a takeaway pint from Borough Market. The new lockdown rules as of December 2 means that pub-goers can't go in for a quick pint - pubs can only serve booze alongside a 'substantial meal' - including outside. It leaves drink-led pubs weighing up whether it was even commercially viable to trade.

A couple enjoy a takeaway pint from Borough Market. The new lockdown rules as of December 2 means that pub-goers can’t go in for a quick pint – pubs can only serve booze alongside a ‘substantial meal’ – including outside. It leaves drink-led pubs weighing up whether it was even commercially viable to trade.

Drinkers braced the cold weather in the capital's Borough market to drink takeaway pints outside ahead of the new Tier 2 rules

Drinkers braced the cold weather in the capital's Borough market to drink takeaway pints outside ahead of the new Tier 2 rules

Drinkers braced the cold weather in the capital’s Borough market to drink takeaway pints outside ahead of the new Tier 2 rules

In an extraordinary move which sparked criticism online, drinkers must leave pubs or restaurants as soon as they have eaten their meal.

Tier 2 diners in England cannot linger or order more booze after their food is finished – and will be expected to leave even then they have more left to drink.  

Landlords will be expected to ask their customers to leave – or face hefty fines for breaching the Government’s strict coronavirus legislation – with critics accusing the PM of treating the public ‘like children’.

Pub-goers will only be allowed to dine with people they live with indoors, but they can sit with people not in their household outside under the ‘rule of six’. 

The controversial 10pm curfew is also set to be scrapped as of next week – with an hour extended until 11pm for drinking and dining under Tier 2. 

The pubs and bars operating as restaurants must also provide table service only and must stop taking orders after 10pm.  

With hundreds mulling around the market, many were unable to safely socially distance and many were not wearing face masks

With hundreds mulling around the market, many were unable to safely socially distance and many were not wearing face masks

With hundreds mulling around the market, many were unable to safely socially distance and many were not wearing face masks

In an extraordinary move which sparked criticism online, drinkers must leave pubs or restaurants as soon as they have eaten their meal. Pictured: a security woman moves people along as many were not socially distancing in Borough Market

In an extraordinary move which sparked criticism online, drinkers must leave pubs or restaurants as soon as they have eaten their meal. Pictured: a security woman moves people along as many were not socially distancing in Borough Market

In an extraordinary move which sparked criticism online, drinkers must leave pubs or restaurants as soon as they have eaten their meal. Pictured: a security woman moves people along as many were not socially distancing in Borough Market

Tier 2 diners in England cannot linger or order more booze after their food is finished - and will be expected to leave even then they have more left to drink

Tier 2 diners in England cannot linger or order more booze after their food is finished - and will be expected to leave even then they have more left to drink

Tier 2 diners in England cannot linger or order more booze after their food is finished – and will be expected to leave even then they have more left to drink

Landlords will be expected to ask their customers to leave - or face hefty fines for breaching the Government's strict coronavirus legislation - with critics accusing the PM of treating the public 'like children'

Landlords will be expected to ask their customers to leave - or face hefty fines for breaching the Government's strict coronavirus legislation - with critics accusing the PM of treating the public 'like children'

Landlords will be expected to ask their customers to leave – or face hefty fines for breaching the Government’s strict coronavirus legislation – with critics accusing the PM of treating the public ‘like children’

The extraordinary rules will further enrage the hospitality trade who already believe pubs, bars and eateries are being unfairly blamed for the spread of coronavirus. Just five per cent of Covid-19 cases have been transmitted in the hospitality industry in the UK. 

When asked how long drinkers can stay in the pub after purchasing a substantial meal, the PM’s spokesman said today: ‘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.’  

Pubs are launching so-called ‘Boris menus’ of cheap tapas-style plates of food that drinkers can be order through the day so they can enjoy a drink with family or friends after December 2.  

A substantial meal is defined by the Government as a “full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal” – with Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick claiming a pasty on its own doesn’t count, but when served with chips and salad it does.

JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has branded Boris Johnson’s contentious tier system ‘lockdown by stealth’ as landlords said the policy amounts to ‘business torture’.

People are not wearing face masks as they enjoy their takeaway drinks at Borough Market ahead of new lockdown rules

People are not wearing face masks as they enjoy their takeaway drinks at Borough Market ahead of new lockdown rules

People are not wearing face masks as they enjoy their takeaway drinks at Borough Market ahead of new lockdown rules

There were queues with Londoners waiting to have food and drink in Borough Market

There were queues with Londoners waiting to have food and drink in Borough Market

There were queues with Londoners waiting to have food and drink in Borough Market

The extraordinary rules will further enrage the hospitality trade who already believe pubs, bars and eateries are being unfairly blamed for the spread of coronavirus. Just five per cent of Covid-19 cases have been transmitted in the hospitality industry in the UK.

The extraordinary rules will further enrage the hospitality trade who already believe pubs, bars and eateries are being unfairly blamed for the spread of coronavirus. Just five per cent of Covid-19 cases have been transmitted in the hospitality industry in the UK.

The extraordinary rules will further enrage the hospitality trade who already believe pubs, bars and eateries are being unfairly blamed for the spread of coronavirus. Just five per cent of Covid-19 cases have been transmitted in the hospitality industry in the UK.

Pubs are launching so-called 'Boris menus' of cheap tapas-style plates of food that drinkers can be order through the day so they can enjoy a drink with family or friends after December 2. Pictured: a couple brace the cold weather and enjoy a pint outside Borough Market

Pubs are launching so-called 'Boris menus' of cheap tapas-style plates of food that drinkers can be order through the day so they can enjoy a drink with family or friends after December 2. Pictured: a couple brace the cold weather and enjoy a pint outside Borough Market

Pubs are launching so-called ‘Boris menus’ of cheap tapas-style plates of food that drinkers can be order through the day so they can enjoy a drink with family or friends after December 2. Pictured: a couple brace the cold weather and enjoy a pint outside Borough Market

A spokesman for Mitchells & Butlers, which runs All Bar One, blasted the decision as ‘a kick in the teeth’. 

The Prime Minister has imposed brutal Tier 2 and 3 rules on 99 per cent of the country with the restrictions expected to last until mid-January at the earliest.  

Mr Martin, the founder and chairman of the chain, said 366 of its pubs will remain closed in light of new tiered measures – sending its shares diving. While analysis by real estate specialists Altus Group has said that 16,010 pubs will remain closed in Tier 3 areas. 

Mr Martin said: ‘These rules greatly reduced pub capacity and provided strict social distancing and hygiene standards but, with difficulty, allowed pubs to trade viably.

‘It is very disappointing that yet another raft of regulations has been introduced which has effectively closed half our pubs. In reality, the government has extended a form of lockdown, by stealth, in large swathes of the country.’

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Mitchells & Butlers said the decision to only allow alcohol with ‘substantial meals’ would be ‘incredibly damaging’ to the sector.

They added: ‘The government seems intent on singling out hospitality for punitive measures and we urge the government to acknowledge the harm these restrictions will cause. 

‘The more industries such as ours continue to be singled out, and are hit hardest by restrictions, it’s vital that the Government provide targeted sector support to protect business and jobs through the winter.’

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