A father of seven has been left fuming after his family were turned away from a pub over the Rule of Six – despite same households larger than six being exempt from the rule.
Daniel Gough was taking his girlfriend and seven children out for a meal at the Baldwin Arms, a Hungry Horse pub, in southeast Birmingham earlier this month.
However, BirminghamLive reports he was left angry when staff refused to serve him as the family totalled nine people – three more than the benchmark ‘six’ permitted under coronavirus restriction rules.
Government guidelines on applying the Rule of Six to pubs and restaurants are very clear.
They state: “Venues following COVID-secure guidance can host more people in total, but no one must mix indoors in groups larger than 6, unless you all live together, or are in the same support bubble.”
Thus family of nine all living together would be permitted under the rules.
However, Mr Gough and his family – which includes children ranging in age from five-months to 14-years-old – was turned away from the Baldwin Arms on Sunday, October 4.
He was allegedly told by staff that the party of nine could not be accommodated due to the family totalling more than six people.
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The 39-year-old told BirminghamLive: "I am a scaffolder and I work away quite a bit. When I do come home I want to treat my girlfriend and kids so I take them out for meals. I have been a regular at the Baldwin Arms and visit about three times a week.
"I never book a table they are usually happy for us to just turn up and accommodate us.
“We popped there on Sunday October 4 just after 2pm. Staff told us they couldn't seat us because there were more than six of us. I explained we were all in the same household and asked if we could just go on two separate tables but they were having none of it.
"I know the government does make an allowance for large families like ours living in the same household. I asked to speak to the manager and she wouldn't budge.”
Mr Gough went on to say he and his family relocated to a nearby pub and were served without issue.
A spokesperson for the pub chain has said that the family were refused service to prevent confusion for other punters.
They said: "Our booking system is set up to enable six people maximum to be booked onto a table and whilst we understand that a household plus support bubble may be more than six people, we have found that this can cause confusion with other guests and have taken the decision to limit table sizes to six in all circumstances.
“Where a household or bubble group numbers more than six people we will do our best to seat them on adjacent tables, however we cannot guarantee to always do this due to availability on the day.”
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