Lockdown loophole allows people from different households to mix inside restaurants

Indoor working lunches are exempt from tier 2 and 3's rules on household mixing

Updated on 21 October 2020 • Written By Henry Coldstream

Lockdown loophole allows people from different households to mix inside restaurants

The government has confirmed that workers from different households are still able to meet inside for lunch, regardless of what tier your area is in, as long as it's for 'work purposes'.

The current rules for areas in tier 2 and 3, which include London, Manchester and Liverpool amongst others, ban people from different households mixing indoors. This includes public indoor spaces such as pubs and restaurants. Yet this loophole in the coronavirus lockdown restrictions means that there is an exception to the rule.


Groups of up to six people from different households are still allowed to gather outdoors, meaning that you're able to meet up with people in beer gardens. However, the government guidelines also state that there is "no limit" on the number of people from different households that can meet indoors in high and very high risk areas, as long as it's for work purposes. This means theoretically that groups of up to 30 people could meet up at the pub if it was for a work meeting.

A spokesperson for No.10 said that while employees are being advised to work from home wherever possible, they 'are permitted to meet indoors for work purposes in high or very high areas'.

This will come as welcome news to the hospitality industry, which had already been struggling before the tiered system was introduced, due to the introduction of a 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants on 24 September. Last week's ban on indoor household mixing in cities such as London has really been the nail in the coffin for a number of businesses though.

A number of top chefs have recently been campaigning for an official Minister for Hospitality to be introduced following the devestating impact the pandemic has had on the industry.

Struggling to keep up with the latest rules when it comes to eating out? We've answered all your questions in this guide to visiting restaurants at the moment