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Government bars u-turn on exemption from 10pm curfew

The UK government has reversed its decision to sell alcohol in parliamentary bars after 10pm to match curfew regulations enforced in hospitality venues across England.

Bars in the Houses of Parliament will stop serving alcohol at 10pm

The ruling comes into force today, four days after bars and restaurants in England were ordered to close their doors from 10pm in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus.

According to a UK parliament spokesperson, catering facilities in parliament will remain open later when the House of Commons is in session to serve food to those working late. However, alcohol will no longer be served on premises past 10pm. The measures will be kept under review.

In a statement to The Spirits Business, a UK parliament spokesperson said: “Alcohol will not be sold after 10pm anywhere on the parliamentary estate.”

The move brings parliamentary bars and restaurants more in line with the rest of England, where pubs, bars and restaurants have been forced to close at 10pm since 24 September. Similar rulings came into force in Scotland on 25 September.

However, the latest data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases related to the hospitality sector remained low for the week ending 20 September.

According to PHE, there were 772 cases of acute respiratory infections (ARI) reported between 14 and 20 September, 532 of these were tested positive for Covid-19.

Of these cases, 222 incidents were from educational settings and 134 cases were from care homes.

In contrast, only 17 incidents of Covid-19 were from food outlets and restaurant settings, accounting for just 3.2% of cases.

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