Minister: People can work at pub with pals but not the office - under 'crazy' Plan B rules

10 December 2021, 08:24 | Updated: 10 December 2021, 08:34

By Emma Soteriou

Small business minister Paul Scully has told LBC that people can work from the pub but not the office under Covid-19 'Plan B' rules.

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Nick Ferrari asked Mr Scully this morning: "Plan B has more holes than a Swiss cheese, doesn’t it minister?"

He replied: "The plans say “wear a mask where it’s practical. There just needs to be a sense check around it. We are trying to reduce connections.

“What we don’t want to do is bear down heavily on hospitality again. It’s a difficult balance.”

Nick then asked him: "You can’t go to the office but you can go to the office party? "

Mr Scully went on to say people can “absolutely” work from the pub.

“If you’re working from the pub you can’t work from home, so you’d be expected to be going into the pub as usual.

“There’s many people who simply can’t work from home.

"We’re just asking people [to work] where you can. It’s not a mandate, it’s appealing to people to do the right thing.”

Mr Scully also said he was not sure when a "gathering" became a "party".

He told LBC he was using the word gatherings because the word party suggested "balloons and poppers and these kind of things".

He said: "It suggests that there's big invitations going out and lots of people coming in from out... from elsewhere and those kind of things".

He said he did not know how many allegations there now were about parties or gatherings across Government departments during lockdown measures in late 2020.

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Pub boss Adam Brooks told the SUn: “With the crazy work from home rules, why don’t workers unite in making our nations’ pubs their offices?”

Another landlord told the paper: "if Boris says you’re more than welcome to spend your day working at the bar, we’re all for it.”

Masks must be worn in more settings including cinemas, theatres and churches as measures are tightened in England from today in a bid to slow the spread of the latest coronavirus variant.

Tougher restrictions have been branded a "necessary evil" by a scientist advising the Government, who said the new approach "absolutely is not an overreaction".

From Friday, in England the legal requirement to wear masks has been extended to more indoor spaces including museums, galleries and community centres.

Sports stadia are also included in regulations published on Thursday evening, but the Department of Health confirmed face coverings will only be mandatory in indoor areas.