I live in the UK and current COVID restrictions have relaxed so that you can meet people indoors at restaurants/bars etc. The Government rule is that its should be no more than 6 people at a table, or any number of people if only from 2 households. This has meant that we were hoping to have social nights or lunch time meals again.
However we had a health and safety update sent round recently that stated (paraphrased, not direct quote) .
If meeting with other members of staff indoors, then you must follow the office procedures and maintain social distancing.
The must is stressed in this update. The social distance in question would mean that each person would have to sit in a table by themselves.
In reference to Flater's answer I would like to include 2 lines from the policy. This shows the policy is intended to apply outside of working hours"
If you interact with an other employee in an indoor enviroment (for example during breaks or after work) you should follow......
You should follow the social distancing if you enter a restaurant, cafe etc.
There is a section addressing things like living together for spouces/house shares etc.
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My question is can my work enforce this health and safety rule on employees outside of the workplace and working hours? I am friends with my work colleagues to the the level where I would socialize outside of "Work Functions" and were looking forward to re-starting our weekly pub lunch, but this has put a stop on this for the time being.