Just 1% of UK hospitality venues linked to Test and Trace incidences

·2 min read
Empty tables are seen outside the The Nags Head pub
Pubs and bars in London have struggled for trade amid the 10pm curfew. Photo: Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/Sipa USA

Pub and hospitality trade bodies are calling on the government to remove the 10pm curfew currently in place for hospitality venues after new research reveals that just 1% of hospitality venues across the UK have been linked to NHS Test and Trace incidences.

The findings from a survey for trade bodies UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and the British Beer & Pub Association, conducted by hospitality market research company CGA, revealed that only 275 NHS Test and Trace contact incidences were reported by respondents operating over 22,500 outlets across the UK — totalling just 1% of all outlets surveyed.

The trade bodies have also highlighted that the hospitality industry was linked to just 2.7% of COVID-19 cases, according to the latest Public Health England data.

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The findings “reiterate that pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues are COVID-secure,” they said.

Hospitality has been one of the hardest-hit sectors by the coronavirus pandemic, with thousands of jobs lost across the industry.

The UK unemployment rate currently stands at 4.5% as the government’s job retention furlough scheme comes to an end this month, to be replaced by the new Job Support scheme.

Business leaders have called for more support for hospitality businesses. Tom Stainer, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), dubbed the pub curfew “arbitrary,” saying it punished firms complying with guidelines.

"Make no mistake about this — without a proper financial support package, communities will lose their local forever, people will lose their jobs, and publicans their livelihoods.”

A spokesperson for the trade bodies, said: “Just 1% of the 22,500 pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues we surveyed said they were linked by NHS Test and Trace to an incidence.

READ MORE: 10pm curfew pushes UK hospitality jobs into 'freefall'

“Public Health England’s own data shows hospitality was most recently linked to just 2.7% of COVID-19 incidences.

“The evidence is clear that pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues are COVID-secure. Singling them out is simply illogical, counterproductive and grossly unfair.

“The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) itself has called into question the effectiveness of the 10pm curfew and it is greatly harming our sector in medium risk areas. The government must consider removing the curfew.”

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