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English Tequila Bar Registers As A Church In The Effort To Pass U.k. Restrictions Covid.

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An English tequila bar registered to become a church in an effort to bypass the U.K.’s coronavirus restrictions.

The 400 Rabbits Tequila and Mezcal Cocktail Bar in Nottingham registered to become The Church of the Four Hundred Rabbits, according to a November 30 report from BBC News.

The owner, 34-year-old James Aspell, posted photos of his formal application to Facebook on November 27. He was shown giving the camera a thumbs-up while placing the application in the mail.

“With places of worship allowed to open in all tiers, we thought f*** it, let’s start a religion!” Aspell wrote. “Can’t be that hard, can it! The Church of The 400 Rabbits launching as soon as we get the green light. Congregation daily until late.”

Aspell told a local paper, Nottinghamshire Live, that the application has been sent to the city’s registrar general for consideration.

London’s bars, clubs and restaurants, including one shown here on November 21, face an uncertain future amid extended coronavirus lockdowns. A tequila bar in Nottingham recently registered to become a church in an effort to bypass the U.K.’s COVID restrictions.
Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images/Getty

In order to be approved, Aspell said, he needed people to sign up to be apart of his congregation. According to the paper, the bar owner said people can register on its website as a “bunny believer” or “reverend of the righteous rabbits.”

England’s nationwide lockdown is scheduled to end on December 2, to be replaced with a three-tier system that can differentiate restriction rules in each area depending on their COVID-19 transmission rate.

Under the new tier system, gyms, hairdressers and non-essential shops would reopen. However, hospitality venues such as bars and restaurants must remain closed until the area can reach tier two. Even under tier two, bars could open only if they operated as a restaurant.

“The intention of this is to be a joke, but it comes from a serious place,” Aspell told Nottinghamshire Live in reference to his application. “With the new restrictions, we’re forced to close and it could be months before we can reopen. We don’t have a food offering so even if we were in tier two, we couldn’t open.”

Aspell then claimed his application “points out the hypocrisy” of the U.K.’s COVID-19 restrictions.

“We feel like we’ve been targeted unfairly to an extent and it seems wrong,” Aspell told the paper. “Everything from gyms to massage parlors can stay open and even Christmas markets are happening—that was the point when I thought, this is ridiculous.”

In an emailed statement to Newsweek on November 30, the Church of the Four Hundred Rabbits said: “Due to the new COVID restrictions that begin in the UK from Thursday, hospitality venues up and down the country are being forced to shut their doors while swathes of other businesses are allowed to remain open. The unfairly targeted approach which could last months will lead to many hospitality venues closing for good without appropriate government support which doesn’t seem forthcoming.”

If Aspell’s application is denied, he said the bar would remain closed.

“We have no intention of opening unless the application is granted or when restrictions are lifted. We’re not doing this to offend anybody or break any rules,” Aspell told Nottinghamshire Live.

Following Aspell’s announcement, many took to Facebook to express their excitement for the new “church.”

“The only reason I’d take up a religion. I’m in!” said Leigh Harrison in a reply to Aspell’s Facebook post.

“The only religion I would get on board with,” replied Ken Scott. “Hopes and prayers for your salvation and delicious drinks.”

George Maroda Phillips also replied, “You might just save 2020.”

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