PUB-GOERS in Tier 2 have revealed a secret hack to carry on drinking while they have their "substantial meal".
Drinkers have reported they were able to keep ordering pints in their locals, as long as they left a few chips on a plate.
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Some pub owners even told boozers the trick, to stop them having to move on once they have finished their meal.
Anyone in Tier 2 must order a "substantial meal" to go with their alcoholic drink, under new Covid rules.
And the rules say that once the food is finished, you must leave the venue and cannot order another drink.
Many pubs have got around this by offering small dishes with free pints, or curating mini meals half the price for drinkers to order.
But others have simply decided that as long as there is an empty or near empty plate in front of them, that is enough to keep drinking.
People on Twitter shared the hacks to ensure you don't need to keep ordering a meal with every pint.
A pub-goer posted: "I was in a pub last night, we ordered our food and then just kept ordering more drink.
"We just made sure that there were a few bites of burger left on the plate.
"No one tried to clear the plate away. Almost everyone else was doing the same thing."
'LEAVE A FEW CHIPS'
Another said: "Complete and utter joke. My local gave us an empty plate with our beer and some complimentary chips at pint 4."
One person wrote: "I know someone who owns a pub, and all he was doing before lockdown and presumably after it was saying to his regulars 'just buy a plate of food, leave a few chips on your plate and we won't empty your table.
"'As long as your bill has food on it, we will serve you all night'."
Drinkers raged about the new rules, as we told how some Wetherspoons pubs are enforcing a three-pint limit rule, which left punters fuming.
And this week people recounted their experiences of their first trip back to the pub.
One person said: "Went to the pub with my wife tonight and had gammon and chips with a beer.
"After my last chip I was thirsty and asked for another pint to wash it down.
"The bartender looked at me like I'm a murderer and told me 'no you can only drink with a substantial meal not after it'. Nuts."
Depending on what tier you live in, Brits are once more able to enjoy a socially distanced pint with pals.
Pubs have curated special menus with cheaper fare specifically for people in Tier 2 to order alongside drinks – with one savvy landlord launching a £1.99 "Boris Menu".
Customers tweeted about the ways their locals have got around the meal rules – with one serving a single sausage for £1 that comes with 10 per cent off a pint.
In Tier 3 it's takeaway only for pubs and restaurants, with people having to wait a little longer to get their hands on a proper pint.
But Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton, the lead for civil contingencies at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said it was down to local councils to ensure pubs follow the law.
DCC Netherton said: “Police will not be visiting pubs checking on what people are eating.
"If we are faced with an issue, we may issue warnings and take action. We have other priorities.”
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