Parliament’s bars will offer eye tests next
Parliament’s bars in Westminster are exempt from the 10p.m. coronavirus curfew that has further hampered restaurants, pubs, and bars as they recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Parliament bar staff will also be exempt from new mask-wearing rules, according to the Times.
As has been a running theme of the pandemic, from eye tests for Dominic Cummings at Barnard Castle in Durham to placing last-minute restrictions on Eid celebrations, this latest instance of “one rule for this, another rule for that” has been fashioned out of a loophole that classifies Parliament’s bars as “workplace canteens.” A Freedom of Information request showed that many of the bars complied with initial lockdown regulations in March and closed, but Strangers’ Dining Room, the Adjournment and the Members’ Smoking Room and Pugin Room all reopened to MPs during the summer.
Such is the nature of the current government that the response has been one of weary inevitability, rather than fury. Exploiting loopholes aside, it adds fuel to the feeling — all-but confirmed in reports over the weekend — that the 10p.m. curfew is little more than a symbolic gesture of seriousness, unrooted in science and not modelled for its epidemiological or economic impacts on the hospitality businesses it so seriously impacts. [The Times]
And in other news...
- Everything that happened in the London restaurant world last week.
- Andrew Wong’s Kym’s, the City follow-up to Michelin-starred A. Wong in Victoria, has closed.
- Eater’s next live event on Zoom sees editors from London, New York City, and Los Angeles discuss how power shapes place for restaurants, and what this means during a pandemic.
- Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford has said that the government response to his food poverty proposals shows a lack of “humanity.” [BBC]
- An essay focussed on Dishoom, the colonial optics of “contemporary Indian” restaurants and how they play out in London. [The White Pube]
- Good tweet: