Owner slams 'aggressive' Covid marshalls sent to pub over 'free scotch egg with every drink' offer

Owner slams 'aggressive' Covid marshalls sent to pub over 'free scotch egg with every drink' offer

THE OWNER of a Norfolk pub has slammed "aggressive" Covid marshals who were sent to investigate their "free scotch egg with every drink" offer

Rachael Parke said Number 29 was visited twice in the same day by two men last week due to a complaint about the drink deal.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates



Marshals had been sent out to the bar-restaurant to investigate a complaint that the establishment was offering the eggs in a bid to skirt around the Covid rule on serving "substantial meals" with alcoholic drinks.

Owner of the Burnham Market bar, Ms Parke said she had done nothing wrong and criticised the officials "aggressive" approach.

Speaking to the Mail Online she said: "They have an intimidating presence about them.

"They didn't ask how you are or give advice, they just came in and were bolshy, wearing high-vis jackets and looking more like security than giving advice."

She added: "The council need to think about the training.

"They need to be open and approachable and give us advice rather than this stern approach which makes you think they want to take over the premises in a really aggressive manner."

A spokesperson for North Norfolk Council said: "A complaint was received that Number 29 was advertising on social media that every customer would receive a free Scotch egg with an alcoholic drink.

"On Thursday, December 3, the owner was telephoned, and it was explained that giving out free Scotch eggs with an alcoholic drink did not constitute a substantial meal.

"Our environmental health team are continuing to work with Number 29 to ensure the business keeps staff and customers safe and works within the guidance."

A new tier-system was introduced across England on December 2, following the end of the four-week lockdown.

All pubs and bars that are in Tier-2 must serve a "substantial meal" with alcoholic drinks if they are to stay open.

Annoyingly, the government doesn't provide clear guidance on what a "substantial meal" is, or even give a link to an explanation of what counts as a substantial meal from its updated Tier system.

The Local Government Association (LGA) points out that "this is open to interpretation and there is a degree of flexibility in what constitutes a meal".

However, it's understood that the government's definition of a substantial meal is a "full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal".

The LGA said: "It would be difficult to argue that a single sausage roll or a snack pork pie constitutes a main meal.

"Whereas if it was served plated with accompaniments such as vegetables, salad, potatoes it could be considered substantial."

In November, Environment secretary George Eustice said that a scotch egg would probably count as a meal.

Mr Eustice told LBC: "This is a term that is understood very much by the restaurant trade.

"I think a scotch egg probably would count as a substantial meal if there were table service and often that might be as a starter. I think it would.

"But this is a term that is understood in licensing since you can have the concept of a table licence for alcohol that also requires you to serve a substantial meal."

The British Meat Processors Association backed Mr Eustice, saying: “The minister is quite right, a Scotch egg makes a cracking meal alongside a pint of beer”.

The new rules apply to revellers sitting inside and outside, and are on top of the normal Covid-secure regulations, including the use of face coverings.

Source: Read Full Article