Speaker bans booze in all House of Commons bars and restaurants


The sale of alcohol will be banned in all House of Commons bars and restaurants after London’s coronavirus restrictions were stepped up, the Speaker of the House has announced.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the prohibition will come into effect on Saturday and will apply if “food is served or not”.

It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the capital will be placed under Tier 2 measures, which ban indoor mixing between households.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle. Pic: UK Parliament
Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he wanted Commons measures to fall in line with the ‘national picture’. Pic: UK Parliament

Under the restrictions, bars and restaurants are allowed to remain open.

Only the Liverpool City Region is under the most stringent Tier 3 conditions, which at a minimum prevent pubs from opening unless they can act like a restaurant and serve food.

Alcohol can be bought on hospitality premises in Tier 3 areas only if it is accompanied by a “substantial meal”, according to government guidance.

Sir Lindsay said: “Following the government’s decision to move London into the Tier 2 COVID alert category, I have asked the parliamentary authorities to introduce measures to bring the House of Commons into line with the national picture.

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“As MPs represent different constituencies in different tiers – with the very highest level ordering the closure of pubs – I have decided to stop the sale of alcohol across the House of Commons end of the estate from this Saturday.

“This means it will not be possible to buy an alcoholic drink from any of our catering outlets for the foreseeable future – whether food is served or not.

“The House of Commons Commission will be meeting on Monday to consider other measures needed to protect MPs, their staff and House staff, while maintaining our COVID-secure status.”

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