UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
UK parliamentary authorities have quickly U-turned on a decision exempting Parliament from the nation’s new coronavirus-related 10 p.m. drinking curfew.
Under the exemption, which sparked a barrage of complaints after becoming public Monday, members of Parliament had been allowed to continue drinking after bars and restaurants across the country closed.
Compulsory registration for drinkers as well as restrictions compelling the wearing of masks also did not apply.
The news followed scenes of large crowds on British streets and on public transport as drinkers began being forced to leave pubs at the same time.
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Bars inside the UK’s Houses of Parliament will no longer be exempt from new coronavirus restrictions following public outcry about the decision.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced earlier this month that all bars and restaurants in England would have to close their doors at 10 p.m. in a bid to halt the current second wave of infections spreading across the country.
Those rules, however, did not apply to pubs, bars, and restaurants inside the confines of the Houses of Parliament, The Times of London reported on Monday.
Other rules compelling drinkers to register their contact details upon entering bars as well as wearing masks when not sitting at a table also did not apply, the paper reported.
Parliamentary authorities used an exemption in the rules allowing “workplace canteens” to sidestep the restrictions.
One member of Parliament who Insider spoke with Monday said their inbox had been flooded with complaints by constituents following the report.
Parliamentary authorities U-turned on the decision following Monday’s report, with a representative saying “no outlet on the Parliamentary Estate will be selling alcohol after 10 p.m., with immediate effect.”
Parliament’s cafés and restaurants, however, will continue to remain exempt from the restrictions, the representative said.
The new rules have been controversial, with even members of Johnson’s government questioning the rules after scenes showing large crowds on British streets and on public transport as drinkers were forced to leave pubs at the same time.
One anonymous Conservative MP told Politico: “Which clown-faced moron thought it would be a good idea to kick thousands of pissed people out from the pubs into the street and onto the tube at the same time? It’s like some sort of sick experiment to see if you can incubate a second wave.”
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