Max Gott, head chef and co-owner of the Bistro Forty Six in Jesmond, appeared on BBC news via video-link on Wednesday to discuss new restrictions banning people in the north east from meeting inside homes.
From today, people in Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham are banned from mixing with others from outside their household or bubble in indoor settings, including pubs and restaurants.
While commenting on the new measures, Mr Gott appeared in front of a poster displaying an array of 'British Tits', on which a photo of the Prime Minister was plastered alongside images of several birds.
Eagle-eyed viewers were quick to pick up on the apparent stunt, with several people taking to social media to praise Mr Gott for his "hilarious" prank.
One wrote: "@BorisJohnson check out the British Tits poster. Live interview on your very own BBC. Well worth the licence fee. Give that man a knighthood."
— Mark Pepper (@MJPeps)September 29, 2020
Another added: "Hilarious!!! The professionalism of the BBC News presenter sliding across the poster of Great British Tits in the background!!! #bbcnews #BorisJohnson #britishtits #coverup."
— Stephen Cox (@stephen_cox_B62)September 29, 2020
Mr Gott's stunt came after Mr Johnson was forced to apologise on Tuesday after making a public slip-up concerning the new lockdown measures in north east England.
The Prime Minister stumbled over an explanation of the ban on households mixing , saying that he “misspoke” when replying to questions asking whether the new regulations would apply in settings such as beer gardens.
In response to questions, Mr Johnson had said: “In the north east and other areas where extra-tight measures have been brought in, you should follow the guidance of local authorities but it is six in a home, six in hospitality but, as I understand it, not six outside.”
But the Prime Minister later tweeted: “Apologies, I misspoke today. In the north east, new rules mean you cannot meet people from different households in social settings indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and your home. You should also avoid socialising with other households outside."
The regulations, which were not published until Tuesday evening, state that people who operate premises should ensure groups gathering outdoors do not exceed six unless an exception applies, suggesting groups can still socialise outside provided they adhere to the rule of six.
During his interview with the BBC on Wednesday, Mr Gott called on the Government to provide greater clarity surrounding the new measures.
"Every week just gets harder so we can't take on more staff at the moment," he said.
"We're having to diversify - we are opening as a takeaway as well with a slightly different concept of what we currently do and I think that's the only way we can go forward.
"It makes it so hard to operate, we constantly feel that if we do something wrong it's our licence, it's our livelihood that's going to come under fire.
"You could have a table of six of two households, but now it's against the law to have a table of six with two households, we just need clarifications."