U-turn on Parliament bars being exempt from 10pm curfew

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U-turn on Parliament bars being exempt from 10pm curfew

Alcohol will no longer be sold in Parliament after the 10 p.m. curfew after criticism that bars for MPs were exempt from coronavirus rules.

A spokesman for parliament said: “Alcohol is not sold anywhere on parliament grounds after 10 p.m.”

It comes after The Times reported that Parliament’s bars were classified as working canteens – and exempted them from the rules.

According to The timesThe bars and restaurants used by MPs and lords and their staff do not have to be closed.

They also didn’t have to collect contact information for customers – unlike any other hotel company in the country.

Some bars in Parliament have reopened after the lockdown, including the Pugin Room, Strangers ‘Dining Room, the Adjournment and the Members’ Smoking Room.

A House of Commons spokeswoman told The Times: “We continue to pursue social distancing and cleaning measures as a Covid-safe workplace to reduce the transmission of the disease through social distancing signage, one-way systems, socially distant seating arrangements. contactless payment, maneuvering and additional cleaning. “

After Parliament’s decision to stop selling alcohol after 10pm, Labor Party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted, “Well, if we ask others to obey the rules, we have to obey them too, they are really basic things. “

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has called for an urgent review of the 10pm “tough” curfew in pubs, bars and restaurants, warning that it could “do more harm than good”.

Mr Burnham said the early closure creates a rush for non-licenses and creates an incentive for people to congregate in each other’s homes.

Health Secretary Helen Whately said the government was open to the new coronavirus regulations that went into effect in England on Thursday.

Mr Burnham’s warning came after footage of crowds was circulated in the city center on Saturday night of people gathering on public transport and queuing outside shops to buy more alcohol.

“I received reports that the supermarkets were crowded with people gathering,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

“I think there is an urgent need to review emerging evidence from police forces across the country.

“My gut feeling is that this curfew does more harm than good. It creates an incentive for people to gather in the street, or rather at home.

“This is the opposite of what our local restrictions are trying to do here. I don’t think this has been fully thought out. “

He suggested that one option could be to impose a 9:00 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales in stores to prevent licenses from going out of circulation after pubs close.

John Apter, national police federation chairman, said police are having difficulty dispersing large crowds that were gathering with limited numbers of officers available.

“Maybe you only have one or two people on a busy main street at 10 p.m. when hundreds and hundreds of people take to the streets,” he said today.

“My colleagues will do their best to encourage and force people to keep going, but it’s really difficult.

“All you need is a hostile group to turn against these officials and the city center resources have been used up for this one incident.”

Ms. Whately said ministers are trying to learn from experience but that the government had to respond to rising infection rates.

“It is clearly early. We only changed that rule last week, ”she told the Today program.

“We are open to how we can best proceed. The steps we took, particularly with the 10pm curfew, we took over the summer in a few spots where localized outbreaks and hospitality were part of the picture.

“We’re always learning and seeing what has the biggest impact, but we clearly need to take a step because we’ve seen rates rise across the country.”

Professor Susan Michie, the director of the London Center for Behavioral Change at University College, said the 10pm curfew issues should have been anticipated.

“The measure is another example of a restriction put in place with a coherent strategy and without sufficient consultation with relevant experts and communities,” she said.

Robert Dingwall, a professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University, said this was another example of “government politics as patricians”.

“When was the last time any of those involved in this decision was in a pub in the city center? The disdain for the night pub reflects the puritan phase of public health that has shaped so many interventions, ”he said.

“Anyone with a basic understanding of sociology, anthropology, social law studies, or criminology would have predicted the transport chaos described by Andy Burnham – and the street festivals we saw elsewhere.”

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