'Work from home if you can'

Andrew Cummings
September 25, 2020

Among the new restrictions, there will be a 10pm curfew on pubs, restaurants and bars where there will be table service only from 24 September.

Speaking in the House of commons today (22 September), the Prime Minister announced changes to the rules over face masks that make it compulsory for restaurant and bar staff to now wear them.

"For restaurants, pubs all to be grouped together, to be closed at 10pm, I can not for the life of me understand what benefit that is going to have".

"If they aren't, then why are they being singled out for nationwide restrictions?"

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: "These restrictions will come as another crushing blow for many hospitality businesses struggling to recover so it's crucial these new rules are applied with flexibility".

"We need to balance, obviously, the need to ensure people can continue to work and indeed critically, continue to go to school and benefit from education against taking steps to try to reduce the virus, which is why we can limit or appropriately restrain social contact".

"It is hard to understand how these measures are the solution to fighting the disease when Government data shows that just 5% of infections out of the home are related to hospitality".

On the back of the gloomy outlook for the industry, they have collectively called on the government to "take drastic action", urging it to immediately put in place a new sector-specific employment support package and to extend the Value-Added Tax cut and business rates holiday for the sector.

She demands that a special support package be specially tailored for hospitality, namely restaurants and hotels, saying Whitehall must "recognise this will damage confidence even further" and cause new woes for the sector.

"A new support package is now essential".

"We agree with the Government that we are all in this together".

"This is punishing responsible publicans across the country who are providing a Covid-secure environment for their communities, while already operating at greatly reduced levels in their efforts to keep their customers safe".

The Campaign for Real Ale's Director for Scotland is criticising the 10pm curfew being imposed on pubs from Friday.

Christopher Snowdon, the head of lifestyle economics at the Institute, warned that while mandatory table service could have merit, having proved effective in Sweden, the new closing time will be devastating to the hospitality sector, which was already suffering after the first lockdown.

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