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Brits can sink back pints without ‘substantial meals’ under legal loopholes

Brits will be able to enjoy a drink without a substantial meal in Tier 2 thanks to legal loopholes.

When the lockdown ends on December 2, large swathes of the country will face new restrictions.

Boozers can once again open their doors, but drinkers will have to leave once they’ve finished their meals.

However, the new laws state the substantial meal clause “does not apply where alcohol is being provided to a customer at a cinema, theatre, concert hall or sportsground”, The Sun reports.

It adds that alcohol needs to be “ordered by, and served to, a customer who has a ticket for an exhibition of a film, a performance or an event of training or competition at the venue, to consume in the area where the audience is seated to watch the exhibition, performance or event.”

Four thousand people will be able to watch sport in outdoor venues in Tier 1, with 2,000 permitted entry in Tier 2 or 50% capacity.

Theatres and cinemas can seat up to 1,000 people or operate at 50% capacity.

Tier three venues will remain closed, and the areas also face a ban on households mixing.

Overnight stays outside the area will be banned as will wedding receptions – but gyms and places of worship will be allowed to open.

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In tier two households cannot mix indoors, but will be able to socialise outdoors if they stick to the Rule of Six.

Earlier today, a Cabinet minister said ordering a Scotch egg in apubwould probably count as a "substantial meal”.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said it could let drinkers get around the Tier 2 restrictions in England.

He told LBC Radio: "I think a Scotch egg probably would count as a substantial meal if there were table service.

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"Often that might be as a starter but yes I think it would.

"But this is a term that's understood in licensing since it is, you can have the concept of a table licence for alcohol that also requires you to serve a substantial meal.

"That is the model that is being followed.”

Downing Street insisted the concept of a "substantial meal" was well understood in the hospitality industry without saying whether that included a Scotch egg.

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