Police urged people to abide by the Covid restrictions, on the same day more than 100 employees on Downing Street were invited to a drinks gathering in garden number 10, at which the lockdown was lifted.
A leaked email published by ITV appeared to show a Boris Johnson advisor asking staff to “bring your own alcohol” to an evening event.
Martin Reynolds, the prime minister’s principal private secretary, said they should “make the most of the fine weather” despite tight restrictions in England as of May 2020.
ITV reported that more than 40 employees attended, including Johnson and his wife Carrie.
On the same day – May 20th – the Met police tweeted: “Have you enjoyed the hottest day of the year yet?
“It is important that we all continue to #StayAlert
“You can relax, have a picnic, do sports or do sports as long as you are: alone, with people you live with, just you and one other person.”
Have you enjoyed the hottest day of the year yet? 🌞.
It’s important that we all continue to #StayAlert
You can relax, picnic, exercise, or play sports as long as you:
➡️ With people you live with
➡️ Just you and one other person pic.twitter.com/LAVe6DScQ5
– Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) May 20, 2020
At 5 p.m. that day, then culture minister Oliver Dowden told everyone in England at a daily press conference that there were only two people allowed to meet outdoors to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The prime minister recently announced a slight relaxation of the lockdown rules. May 2020, two people from separate households are allowed to meet outside in a public place, such as a park, as long as they stay two meters away from each other.
As many pointed out on social media, there is a huge difference between two people who meet and more than 100.
The same day the Prime Minister’s private secretary allegedly sent an email to staff asking them to “bring your own alcohol” to “take advantage of the fine weather at Downing St Garden” https: // t. co / ogmS3idvYr
– Mollie Malone (@ Mollie_Malone1) January 10, 2022
Please help as I don’t understand the law: 100 is greater than 2
– James Felton (@JimMFelton) January 10, 2022
Human rights attorney Adam Wagner, who interprets the coronavirus regulations on Twitter for the public, said the alleged event was “unlikely to be legal for the attendees”.
“At the time, it was illegal to be outside the home unless (the only potentially relevant exception) was the need to work,” Wagner wrote on social media.
“‘Social Distance Drinks’ / ‘BYOB’ doesn’t sound like work.”