This week The Caterer is launching a campaign to rally the industry behind the removal of the curfew and engage the government in a considered approach to safety in the sector.
We are asking that the government reconsiders its 10pm curfew on hospitality for the safety of guests and employees and the future of the sector.
The curfew was established to curb the rise in coronavirus infections. But its implementation has been rushed with little by way of science behind it. To most observers it is simply political posturing that is yet to be backed up by any real evidence.
Highly regulated and well-run hospitality environments, where every safety precaution has been put in place, care for the welfare of guests until they leave the premises, whatever time that might be. To ask businesses to send people out on to the streets and public transport en masse at 10pm can only increase the risk of coronavirus transmission.
The hospitality industry had been seeing a gradual recovery since reopening, with operators stoically adjusting to operating in the new normal. Many simply aim to keep their heads above water until next spring when, it is hoped, a more normal way of life can be re-established. That recovery is now threatened by unnecessary regulation.
We are not asking for permission to take unnecessary risks for the sake of sales. On the contrary, we believe that the curfew should be reconsidered to facilitate a safer, staggered approach to guests departing or retiring to their rooms.
Operators have spent thousands making their premises safe for guests, on reducing capacity and investing in new technology to facilitate a reduction in interaction. This duty of care does not change post-10pm. The curfew is not only baffling to businesses, it threatens their very existence. Almost two-thirds of the operators we surveyed reported that their businesses couldn't survive more than six months operating under such conditions.
That is why we are asking the government to Can the Curfew and work with operators and the wider industry as they provide safe environments for people to eat, drink and sleep. We believe this would both stem the spread caused by unnecessary mingling at 10pm and save hundreds of thousands of industry jobs
I urge you to sign our petition and convince the government to Can the Curfew.