Tier 3 drinking loophole in Sheffield set to close from midnight tonight

A legal loophole allowing people to drink in certain Sheffield establishments without ordering a substantial meal is set to close tonight.

Friday, 30th October 2020, 12:25 pm

Pubs are only allowed to stay open under Tier 3 lockdown restrictions in South Yorkshire if they are serving substantial meals.

But it had been reported that social clubs – like political clubs and working men’s clubs – in other Tier 3 areas were exploiting a loophole to serve drinks without food as their club premises certificates state that alcohol is not sold to members but ‘supplied’.

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The new Government legislation to close the loophole in alcohol service will come into force starting midnight.

Sheffield Council has, however, confirmed that new government legislation closing the apparent loophole will apply across South Yorkshire from midnight tonight, Friday, October 30.

Some local authorities believed that because the Government initially omitted the word ‘supply’ from its Tier 3 lockdown regulations, social clubs which served alcohol without food were not breaking the rules.

There are thousands of members' clubs across England, and many have expressed concerns that their businesses could fold due to the new restrictions.

South Yorkshire entered the ‘very high’ level lockdown measures at 00.01am on Saturday, October 24, meaning households are banned from mixing in any indoor setting such as private gardens or most public outdoor venues.

Pubs and bars which don’t serve ‘substantial meals’ must also close under the Tier 3 restrictions, which were introduced in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Dozens of watering holes which don’t serve food, or don’t make enough money from selling meals, are shut for the foreseeable future.