The Houses of Parliament's bars will no longer be exempt from the UK's 10pm coronavirus drinking curfew following public outcry

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  • Boris Johnson
    Boris Johnson
    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2019
boris johnson pub
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
  • The UK Parliament was exempted from the national coronavirus 10pm drinking curfew.

  • Members of Parliament were allowed to continue drinking after bars and restaurants across the country closed.

  • Restrictions compelling the wearing of masks, and compulsory registration for drinkers also did not apply.

  • However, Parliamentary authorities U-turned on the decision on Monday after facing a barrage of complaints from the public.

  • The news follows scenes of large crowds on British streets and public transport as drinkers are all forced to leave pubs at the same time.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Bars inside the UK's Houses of Parliament will no longer be exempted from strict new coronavirus restrictions requiring licensed premises to close at 10pm, following public outcry about the decision.

Boris Johnson announced earlier this month that all bars and restaurants in England would have to close their doors at 10pm in a bid to halt the current second wave of infections spreading across the country.

However, those rules did not apply to pubs, bars and restaurants inside the confines of the Houses of Parliament, the Times of London reported on Monday.

Other rules compelling drinkers to register their contact details upon entering bars as well as wearing masks when not sitting at a table also did not apply, the paper reported.

Parliamentary authorities used an exemption in the rules allowing "workplace canteens" to sidestep the restrictions. 

One MP Insider spoke to on Monday said their inbox had been flooded with complaints by their constituents following the report.

However, parliamentary authorities reportedly U-turned on the decision to allow late-night drinking following the report on Monday, with a spokesperson saying that "no outlet on the Parliamentary Estate will be selling alcohol after 10 pm, with immediate effect."

However, parliament's cafes and restaurants will continue to remain exempt from the restrictions.

A parliamentary spokesperson later denied a U-turn insisting to Insider that the House of Commons Speaker had in fact decided to lift the exemptions last Thursday following the implementation of the new guidance.

The new rules have been hugely controversial due to scenes of large crowds piling onto town centres and public transport, with even members of Boris Johnson's government questioning the rules.

One anonymous Conservative MP told Politico: "Which clown-faced moron thought it would be a good idea to kick thousands of pissed people out from the pubs into the street and onto the tube at the same time? It's like some sort of sick experiment to see if you can incubate a second wave."

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