Wetherspoon Chairman Tim Martin is set out at the government’s 10 PM curfew due to take effect this evening .
The main problem with the 10pm curfew he says, is that it’s another random and arbitrary move by the govt which lacks logic or scientific credibility – it’s part of their “don’t just stand there, do something” approach.
It will reduce sales for hard-pressed pubs and restaurants, reduce employment and reduce govt taxes as a result.
It will also increase the level of unsupervised socialising in the UK, as customers leave pubs and restaurants earlier.
There are about 3 million people employed in the hospitality industry and they are doing their conscientious best, with considerable success, to ensure that social distancing and hygiene standards are observed.
90% of Wetherspoon pubs, for example, have had zero reported cases of the virus- the great majority of the remaining pubs have only had one case.
In contrast, one sandwich making facility in the Midlands has had far more reported infections than all Wetherspoon’s 861 pubs combined.
The curfew will mean that supervised socialising in pubs and restaurants will end at 10 pm, resulting in unsupervised socialising at home and elsewhere.
In fact, homes are where far more transmissions of the virus have taken place since the pandemic began.
As Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council has said:
“The data we have shows that the infection rate has risen, mainly due to social interactions, particularly private household gatherings. In shops and hospitality venues there are strict measures in place to ensure they are Covid-safe, whereas it is much easier to inadvertently pass on the virus in someone’s house, where people are more relaxed and less vigilant.”
In summary, decisions are now being taken, under emergency powers, by a very narrow band of politicians in government, in league with advisers with equally narrow backgrounds.
Many people in the country strongly believe that the Swedish approach, which avoids lockdowns and authoritarian measures is superior.
Parliament needs to step up to the plate to end this authoritarian and counterproductive approach. It must ensure proper debate and scrutiny of the government’s flawed, changing and unpredictable strategy.
Sweden emphasises social distancing, hygiene and trusting the people, rather fines, threats and a reduction in civil liberties.