Government throws ‘Hospitality’ to the wolves according to Pubs lobby group
The Forum of British Pubs has accused the Government of throwing the hospitality industry to the wolves as it puts 99% of the country in tier two and three restrictions following the lockdown which ends on the 2nd December.
These tiered measures are set to be reviewed every two weeks with the new tier system expected to be in place until March next year, but with only three areas placed into the tier one category, where pubs and bars will be able to operate in a less restricted manner, the current restrictions are set to decimate the hospitality sector.
With the sector effectively unable to operate for 5 months, including the lockdown period, the industry is expected to suffer massive damage, which will see businesses close, unemployment rise and communities left with no heart. The relationship between hospitality and high street retail is symbiotic and the damage to pubs and bars will impact on independent retailers whose trade will also drop, particularly in the run up to Xmas.
The evidence from Leicester, which has been in lockdown since June 30th and has higher infection rates now than it did when it was locked down, is a clear indication that closing the pubs and bars has made little difference to transmission.
Members of the Forum of British Pubs are frustrated by the lack of hard scientific and health based evidence to justify the closure of well run, socially distanced, outlets which look after their staff and consumers. The industry relies on the Xmas period to keep their businesses viable throughout the year and a potential 5 month lockdown is unacceptable.
Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum of British Pubs, has challenging the Government on its rationale and naivety. “What the Government thinks will happen on New Year’s Eve, when it is predicted many people will ignore the guidance, is a mystery to most pub and bar operators. As happened on the first lockdown, many will meet up socially, in parks and public areas, sometimes at events funded and promoted by organised crime and surely it would be better if people were allowed to get together in well-regulated pubs and bars where safety guidelines are being enforced and followed. The focus should be on preserving our pubs and hospitality venues, in a safe and responsible way, rather than using them as a scape goat for the Government’s poorly communicated and badly executed plans to reduce transmission.”
Contact: Dave Mountford at firstname.lastname@example.org