a "Substantial Meal"?
Questions over what is a "substantial meal" under the Tier
2 rules in England have been raised since Wednesday 2nd December 2020
when the new Tier rules came in.
the end of Lockdown 2 in England on Wednesday 2nd December 2020
there has been the change to new tougher tiered local restrictions.
Many parts of the country have been placed under the Tier
2 'high alert' restrictions which mean pubs and restaurants
can only serve alcohol as part of a "substantial meal".
But the term "substantial meal" has caused some confusion
for people around the UK wondering what qualifies and what doesn't.
According to GOV
UK, during a substantial meal "full table service
must be provided" and the person eating must be seated.
But although the term "substantial meal" was not clearly
defined, it is felt that it was meant, in the spirit of it,
to mean a sit down meal - the kind of meal you would
have at lunch on a Sunday at home or at a restaurant. But at
lunchtime a substantial meal can often be less substantial than
dinner or supper.
There have been reports of golf clubs serving soup as a substantial
meal at lunchtime - and indeed a bowl of parsnip soup can
easily be a substantial dish and certainly more than satisfying
many diners' needs at lunchtime. Scotch eggs and similar items
have also been suggested as "substantial". Is this
the end of dried roasted nuts or pork scratchings with a pint
Would a full English afternoon tea with scones and a selection
of cakes qualify - well certainly tucking into a full menu
at around 4pm would be felt to be substantial dining,
but an afternoon tea is not normally associated with the consumption
of alcohol! As inevitably there would be a few cakes remaining
on the cake tray, establishing whether dining had ended might
be difficult! Maybe there would be time for a glass of champagne!
are Tier 2 restrictions?
According to the UK
Government, the Tier 2 High alert level is for areas "with
a higher or rapidly rising level of infections, where some additional
restrictions need to be in place".
In Tier 2:
> You must not socialise with anyone you do not live
with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting,
whether at home or in public.
> You must follow the rule of six and not socialise
in a group of more than six people outside, including in a garden
or public space.
> Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in
a COVID-secure manner, other than those which remain closed
by law - such as nightclubs.
> Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as
> Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial
> Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption
on their premises must provide table service only, where alcohol
is served, and close between 11pm and 5am (with venues in airports,
ports, transport services and motorway services exempt). They
must not take any orders after 10pm.
> Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink
for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after
10pm, as long as it is through delivery, click-and-collect or
> Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas,
theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs,
theme parks, adventure parks and activities and bingo halls.
Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm
in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.
> Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances
and shows) is allowed, limited to 50 per cent capacity of 2,000
people outdoors or 1,000 indoors, depending which is lower.
> Public attendance at spectator sport and business
events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact
rules and with the same rules regarding capacity as above.
Places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with
people from outside of your household or support bubble while
indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies.
Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers
- 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30
people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend
linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.
> Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and
exercise classes can continue.
> Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise
classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people
to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share
a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability
sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and
physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger
> You can continue to travel to venues or amenities
which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys
you make where possible.
> If you live in a Tier 2 area, you must continue
to follow Tier 2 rules when you travel to a Tier 1 area. Avoid
travel or overnight stayed in Tier 3 areas other than where
necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive
medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You
can travel through a Tier 3 area as part of a longer journey.