Coronavirus

Substantial meal rule dropped following legal battle

Under tier rules in England, hospitality establishments were only allowed to serve alcohol alongside a ‘substantial meal’

Sacha Lord, Greater Manchester’s night-time economy adviser, has won a legal challenge forcing the UK government to drop its “substantial meal” rule for bars and restaurants.

High court judges ruled in favour of Lord, who brought a legal case against health secretary Matt Hancock with the claim certain lockdown measures were discriminatory against certain groups, notably BAME communities.

Under tiered restrictions in England, hospitality establishments were previously only allowed to serve alcohol alongside a substantial meal, but this restriction will no longer be in place when venues open later this year. 

Following this win, Lord is also planning to bring forward the reopening of hospitality venues in England on 12 April, at which point said venues will only be allowed to reopen outdoors.

On Twitter, Lord said: “Today I can announce the Government dropped the substantial meal requirement in their recent roadmap as a result of our court case.

“Judges in our case ruled the measure was arguably discriminatory towards certain sections of society. This is a landmark victory for hospitality.”

He added: “I can confirm my legal team and I are now in discussions regarding the lack of evidence to justify the delay of the reopening of hospitality compared with non-essential retail.”

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