Business lunches to go ahead following Covid ‘loophole’

Restaurants can serve guests from multiple households following a ‘loophole’ in covid-19 restrictions that allows business lunches to go ahead.

According to The Telegraph, Downing Street and local authorities have confirmed that meetings inside restaurants are permitted so long as they are for “work purposes.”

London eateries including Galvin La Chapelle, The Wolseley, Gaucho and M Restaurants have said they will accept business reservations with immediate effect. 

As of 17 October, London has been placed under Tier 2 restrictions which bans indoor mixing of different households in pubs and restaurants, as well as a cease in serving customers past 10pm. 

The outlet reported that the government “stressed” the exemption is designed for freelancers or the self-employed who do not have an office to engage in face-to-face meetings, but this is understood to be simple guidelines and those who meet for a working lunch will not be liable for fines. 

It follows a statement made by UKH chief exec Kate Nicholls last week that restaurant closures in London will lead to “widespread job losses as early as 1 November.”

Jeremy King, co-founder of The Wolseley told the Telegraph “it had been inundated” with requests  about business lunches and confirmed “it would allow diners to book for business reasons.”

King added: “The problem with Tier Two is that it is the worst of both worlds as we are left in no man’s land with our clientele discouraged to come but no compensatory help from the Government.“ What will really aid the survival of restaurants is confirmation that business meetings are a legitimate reason to visit a restaurant indoors with people from different households.”

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