Bars Inside UK Parliament ‘Can Stay Open Past 10pm Curfew’
It has emerged that Parliament’s bars are exempt from the government’s new coronavirus restrictions – including the 10pm curfew.
Bars in the House of Commons are not subject to the new rules every other hospitality venue has been told it must follow in the coming weeks, apparently because they are designated ‘workplace canteens’.
As well as the 10pm curfew, these bars are also exempt from stricter rules on face coverings as well as test and trace data-gathering requirements. Customers visiting the bars will also not need to check in as they would at other hospitality venues.
This is because under the new rules, ‘workplace canteens may remain open where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food,’ according to a report in The Times.
Following the report, a spokesperson for the House of Commons confirmed that the new restrictions on hospitality do not apply to the venues on the parliamentary estate.
‘As catering outlets providing a workplace service for over 3,100 people working on the Estate, the current regulations on hospitality venues do not apply to Commons facilities,’ the spokesperson said, as per The Independent.
The spokesperson added that the Members’ Dining Room, Adjournment, Smoking Room, Terrace Pavilion, Pugin Room and Members’ Tea Room all fall under this category as they provide a food and bar service.
We continue to follow social distancing and cleaning measures as a COVID-secure workplace in order to reduce the transmission of the disease through social distancing signage, one-way systems, socially distanced seating arrangements, contactless payments, marshalling and additional cleaning.
Parliament has a dedicated team to support the test-and-trace teams across the UK, acting as a central point of contact in the event of any suspected or confirmed cases, where an individual has been working on the Estate.
The new rules that apply to all other hospitality venues in England came into force on Thursday, September 24, with the measures requiring customers and staff to wear face coverings, businesses to display QR codes for test and trace, and the 10pm curfew.
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