The hospitality industry in England is bracing itself for tougher tier restrictions once the country comes out of lockdown on December 2. Preparations for a harsher system of restrictions will see pubs and restaurants in Tier 3 restricted to takeaway only, with businesses in tier 2 areas only allowed to serve alcohol with substantial meals.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be outlining measures later today which are expected to come into force this present lockdown ends, and England returns to its previous 3 tier Covid-19 alert system.
The 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants is to be lifted when England comes out of lockdown on 2 December, the prime minister is expected to announce.
Lifting the 10 PM curfew which drew nationwide criticism when it was introduced in September and saw crowds congregating in town centres, will give diners an extra hour to finish their meals and provide a boost for the hospitality sector, which has been ravaged by the pandemic.
Welcoming the lifting of the curfew Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said this would help businesses, but would be “meaningless” unless people were allowed to socialise with friends and family,
however Ms Nicholls was critical of the prospect of tougher tier restrictions particularly over the crucial Christmas period. “pubs and restaurants pay the price of tougher tier restrictions-no other sector is facing restrictions totally unacceptable” she added.
Nik Antona, CAMRA National Chairman, said, “Publicans across the country will be angry this morning, and they have every right to be. Once again, the hospitality sector is being singled out for further restrictions without evidence.
‘This is a kick in the teeth to the vast majority of publicans who have invested money and time into making their premises COVID-secure, and for the consumers that were using pubs to socialise safely.
“CAMRA is particularly dismayed to see the extension of the ‘substantial meal’ requirement to pubs in Tier 2. Yet again, decision makers are punishing wet-led, community pubs. Publicans now face an excruciating wait for further details on which areas will sit in which Tier – and after that many will have to make agonising decisions about the future of their businesses.
“If the Government wishes to continue with these unfair and un-evidenced plans, it must announce a proper, sector-specific support package or we will see mass pub closures and mass job losses as communities lose their beloved locals forever.”