A UK government minister has today hinted that a loophole in the “substantial meals” clause could possibly enable thousands of pubs to reopen under Tier 2 restrictions.
Under the new “tougher” three tiered regional system, announced as part of the government’s COVID Winter Plan as England’s second national lockdown comes to an end, pubs and bars sitting in Tier 2 regions currently may not provide alcohol for consumption on the premises.
Unless it’s accompanied by a “substantial meal”, that is.
As per the current three tiered approach, Greater Manchester has now entered into Tier 3 restrictions, meaning that all hospitality businesses in the region must close, with the exception of takeout and delivery services.
The “substantial meal” rule however – a problem that Greater Manchester sadly knows all too well after grappling with the same situation under previous Tier 3 restrictions – means that thousands of ‘wet’ pubs in Tier 2 locations across the country have had to temporarily close doors.
But now, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has today appeared to pose a possible solution during an interview on Sky News this morning.
Mr Williamson said that drinkers could not order themselves takeaways to meet the substantial meal requirement, but when pressed by Kay Burley if it would be ok for pub landlords to order takeaways for customers instead, he said: “I am sure that would be the case”.
Kay Burley then continued to follow up on the topic further, asking: “What if they don’t sell food on the premises, can you order a takeaway?”
Mr Williamson replied: “It’s got to be a substantial meal but pubs have really got to be providing that meal.”
Pushed by the presenter again, questioning: “What if the landlord buys it?”, Mr Williamson replied: “Well if the pub is providing that meal via the landlord I am sure that would be the case.
“But it’s about the pub providing the substantial meal with the alcohol.”
The nature of comments made by the Education Secretary have understandably gone on to generate widespread conversation across social media, even generating comment from Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Advisor.
Sacha Lord branded Mr Williamson’s comments as “helpful, but ridiculous at the same time”.
Sky News presenter Kay Burley herself even seemed to express surprise at the minister’s admission, responding to Mr Williamson saying: “But the landlord could order the takeaway for you, that’s interesting.”
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Wayne Rooney confirms he has had offers to take part in a boxing match
England and Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has confirmed that he has indeed had talks and been offered the possibility of taking part in a boxing match at some point in the future.
While most people know him as one of the greatest British footballers of all time, some might also be aware that Rooney was indeed a bit of a boxer in his younger days and even fought at his local amateur club to a decent little pedigree — that’s according to Eddie Hearn, at least.
The Matchroom Sports promoter got rumours that Wazza might get in the ring circulating after his own appearance on Gary Neville’s Stick to Football, claiming that he’d had calls from the retired footballer himself trying to set something up and now the retired striker seems to have confirmed it.
Speaking with the panel of ex-pro pundits on The Overlap’s latest show, the 38-year-old was quizzed by Neville and his Monday Night Football co-host, Jamie Carragher as to whether there was any truth in it — to which he simply teased, “You never know”.
Going on to explain the genuine discussions that have already taken place, Rooney said, “They’ve been in touch and have asked the question but at the minute I’m just focusing on getting back into management”.
When asked if it was an exhibition for charity or part of something else, he then went on to reveal that it isn’t just a case of one offer but multiple, in fact.
“There’s been a few and obviously that Misfits [Boxing] have been in [touch] and all of the news”, said United’s all-time leading goalscorer, but once again reiterated that his main focus is simply getting back on the touchline. Can’t lie, doesn’t really matter who he was fighting, we’d pay to see it.
Come on, we could hardly write this whole thing without mentioning that clip:
The Premier League icon insisted that he still loves boxing like his dad before him and that his “grandad still runs the gym in Crocky [Croxteth, Liverpool]” but making a prompt comeback as a manager is the first priority after being let go by Birmingham after just 83 days in charge.
As for who he’d faced up against, the likes of Logan and Jake Paul have both been banded about and given Misfits in the influencer and YouTube world — having been co-founded by KSI — who knows? All we know is that Wazza was a warrior on the pitch and we’re sure he’d be similar on the canvas.
You can watch Wayne Rooney’s full interview on Stick to Football down below:
Featured Images — The Overlap (via YouTube)/Sky Sports
People with an extremely rare birthday can get free pints in Manchester next week
People who are unfortunate – or this case, fortunate – enough to have the rarest birthday of them all can grab a free pint in Manchester next week.
You guessed it – Leap Day babies, this one’s for you.
It’s estimated that only around 4.1 million people worldwide were born on 29 February – which, of course, is also known as a Leap Day birthday – and if you just so happen to be one of those people here in Manchester, then you’ll probably want to get yourself down to Society next week to celebrate.
That’s because the popular street food hall and social hub in the heart of the city centre is commemorating the special day that only comes around every four years by giving away free pints next Thursday.
The catch, however, is that you have to have been born on 29 February to claim the freebie.
Society is known for having one of the city’s biggest craft beer collections, and will be handing out glasses of its house Vocation Pure Pilsner to all Leap Day babies who’ve missed out on years of birthday benefits.
So-called ‘leapers’ wanting to claim their complimentary cold one must be able to verify their birthday with a valid ID at the Society bar.
The deal will run all day from the moment Society opens until it closes… but, for one day only.
‘Leap Day’ babies need to head on down to Society to claim their complementary cold one / Credit: Vocation Manchester
If you’re the type to want to mark your birthday in a more lowkey way, then Society is an ideal place to head on down to.
Its relaxed dining and drinking set-up – with the ability to order food from five independent kitchens, and pick a pint from one of Vocation Brewery‘s 36 ever-changing tap beers from the comfort of your own table – makes it a great destination to celebrate your special day with groups either big or small.