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Birmingham City Council proposes ‘test and dine' to get hospitality back up and running

14 December 2020 by
Birmingham City Council proposes ‘test and dine' to get hospitality back up and running

Birmingham City Council is discussing a ‘test and dine' scheme that would help open the doors of hospitality businesses currently closed due to Tier 3 restrictions.

The local authority is proposing that hospitality guests would be tested for Covid-19 a few hours ahead of a dining reservation. Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward informed a regional briefing on Friday about the proposed idea, which would need to be approved by government.

Birmingham is currently under Tier 3 restrictions which sees the forced closure of restaurants and pubs in the city.

Sam Morgan, who owns the Craft and 8 restaurants in the city centre, told The Caterer it could potentially be too big a risk to businesses.

"Naturally, being closed, we are unprofitable, but it could actually pan out to be considerably worse if a business was expecting a hundred guests and it subsequently, as a result of testing, only had half of those guests arrive," said Morgan.

"The cost around the wastage of stock and additional manpower would be significant in this instance. I also wonder how many people will comply, understand and go to the lengths of getting a test to have meal out, meaning demand will likely be supressed, especially given the parameters of ensuring the test is within six hours of going out."

Morgan is also concerned that hospitality staff will have to enforce the test and dine solution.

He said: "I'm not sure how comfortable I am placing team members into a position of regulating and checking test results of prospective guests, there is a line in respect of what is reasonable to expect our sector to be involved with and I am of the opinion we could be crossing that line and damaging our sectors core principles beyond remedy."

Photo: Shutterstock

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