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English pubs can open in highest COVID areas if they serve meals, says government

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - General views of Brentford's Griffin Park - London, Britain - July 29, 2020 General view a pub called 'The Griffin' outside Griffin Park Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

LONDON (Reuters) - Pubs and bars can only remain open in the highest coronavirus alert areas of England if they operate as if they were a restaurant and serve substantial meals, the government said on Monday.

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a new three-tier system, the government said of those areas in the “very high” alert level: “Pubs and bars must close, and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant - which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.”

Reporting by William James, writing by Elizabeth Piper