Experts explain what a 'substantial meal' means as new pub rules come into place in England
24 November 2020, 11:39
Boris Johnson announced this week that pubs, restaurants and bars in Tier 2 will only be able to serve alcohol alongside a 'substantial meal', but what does that mean?
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out the plans for an updated three-tier system for England when lockdown ends on December 2.
In tier 3, pubs and restaurants will only be allowed to open for takeaway meals only and in tier 1 there should be table service and they must close at 11pm.
In tier 2, however, the rules state that bars, restaurants and bars can reopen, but can only serve alcohol alongside a 'substantial meal'.
This, of course, has raised question of what a 'substantial meal' means.
Good Morning Britain's resident doctor Dr Hilary explained on Lorraine that he thinks a 'substantial meal' is a starter and a main.
Talking to presenter Lorraine Kelly, Dr Hilary said: "If you want to go out to eat, you can, to a pub or restaurant, but you have to have a substantial meal to have alcohol with it."
When Lorraine replied: "I don't know what that means", Dr Hilary said: "I think it means a starter and a main, probably. To me, that's what a substantial meal is."
Government guidance describes a 'substantial meal' as "like a main lunchtime or evening meal".
Clearing up the confusion more, the Department for Health and Social Care rules out crisps as a meal.
Speaking on the rules, they told Nottingham Live: "It is clear that there is a difference between a meal and a snack, such as crisps.
“There is no prescribed limit for how long a meal is expected to take, however we expect people to act reasonably, and for venues to take action to prevent people flouting the rules.
“Venues will face enforcement action from local authorities where they fail to comply."