Lockdown loophole could allow Brits to mix indoors under Tier 2 and Tier 3 rules

A lockdown loophole allows Brits who live in Tier 2 and Tier 3 of the Government’s Covid-19 alert system to mix indoors if they’re on a “working lunch".

Under guidelines, people living in areas like London, York and Manchester are not permitted to socialise indoors unless you live in the same household.

The rules are forcing punters to drink outside with friends under Tier 2, and completely closing pubs and restaurants unless they serve meals under Tier 3.

But restriction loopholes suggest those on a “working lunch” may be permitted to meet indoors for work purposes in "high or very high areas."

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A government spokesman told the Telegraph: "People are permitted to meet indoors for work purposes in high or very high areas."

Restaurants have urged No10 for more guidance, as it could give a much needed cash injection for those replying on lunchtime trade.

Chief Executive of trade body UK Hospitality, Kate Nicholls, said: "We’re asking for urgent clarification because in central London, if the working lunch is gone, there’s no trade."

It comes as half of businesses are expected to fail over the winter unless an improved rescue package is devised, a new study by the UK Hospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer and Pub Association claims.

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

The study suggests 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."

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