Indoor meetings ban 'applies to pubs' – but you can go with your own household


People will be able to go to pubs and restaurants with members of their own household in parts of northern England facing new coronavirus restrictions.

The Mirror understands that new rules banning indoor meetings between households in Greater Manchester and parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire will apply to bars and restaurants.

But people can only go to the pub with members of their own household – and they cannot meet friends there.

Gardens are also understood to be off-limits – but you can meet people from other households in parks and outdoor spaces.

Confusion abounded on Thursday after Matt Hancock announced a ban on indoor meetings for large parts of the north of England.

Matt Hancock announced new lockdown restrictions for parts of the north of England

New measures – affecting millions of people – were due to come into force at midnight.

However no guidance had been published and officials appeared to be in the dark on the details of the plans.

Furious MPs demanded answers from the Government about the move.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said: “No one would argue with putting in place local action to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.

“But announcing measures affecting potentially millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for the government’s communications during this crisis.”

He said the public needed greater clarity from ministers over such significant changes.

Shadow Cabinet Minister Jonathan Reynolds, who represents Stalybridge and Hyde in Greater Manchester, said: “I have to say a few tweets from a Minister late at night is not the way to announce something as significant as this.”

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Mr Hancock announced the move at 9.15pm, saying “households gathering and not abiding by the social-distancing rules” was a reason for the stricter rules and it was in order to “keep the country safe”.

He said: “We take this action with a heavy heart but unfortunately it’s necessary because we’ve seen that households meeting up and a lack of social distancing is one of the causes of this rising rate of coronavirus and we’ll do whatever is necessary to keep the country safe.”

The move comes as celebrations take place for the Muslim festival of Eid al Adha, which started on Thursday evening and continues over the weekend.

It also follows the imposition of new quarantine measures for travellers arriving from Luxembourg and Spain.

The changes apply to Greater Manchester, as well as a number of places in East Lancashire – Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale.

In West Yorkshire, Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale are affected.

Leicester is also affected, which has been under a local lockdown since June 29.





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