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Coronavirus

Virus Curbs Late-Night Drinking in UK Parliament

September 28, 2020

LONDON — British politicians will have to curb their late-night drinking after authorities in Parliament ordered alcohol sales restricted as part of anti-coronavirus measures.

Bars and restaurants in the U.K. have been ordered to shut at 10 p.m. under restrictions imposed last week to curb the spread of COVID-19. But catering facilities in Parliament were exempt under a loophole that allows workplace canteens to keep longer hours.

But after a backlash a parliamentary spokesman clarified Monday that “alcohol will not be sold after 10 p.m. anywhere on the parliamentary estate,” though food can be sold during late-night sessions of Parliament.

Some lawmakers had pointed out that the anomaly would do little for politicians’ public image.

Health Minister Helen Whately said members of Parliament “shouldn’t be sitting round late at night drinking. We have got a job to do when we are there.” Opposition Labour Party legislator Wes Streeting tweeted: “This is ridiculous and makes parliament look ridiculous. This has got to change immediately. We can’t have one rule for parliament and one rule for everyone else.”

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