Government plans to discuss coronavirus restrictions with the sector

22 January 2021 by
Parliament Square

Ministers are planning to discuss the impact of future coronavirus restrictions with hospitality leaders in the coming weeks, it is understood.

The government will be engaging with pubs, bars and restaurants ahead of a possible return to tier restrictions once the national lockdown ends in England.

This is likely to include examining rules around table service and closing times to determine their economic impact. It is believed ministers are also looking at the effect of rules on people's behaviour, as this is seen as key in reducing the spread of coronavirus.

Hospitality has no set reopening date, but yesterday (21 January) a scientist who sits on the government's Sage advisory committee told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme that reopening too early could lead to a "bump" in cases.

It comes after a petition calling for the creation of a dedicated minister for hospitality garnered more than 200,000 signatures and was discussed by MPs in Parliament on 11 January.

The sector is currently split between two ministers at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), but it is believed the two are looking to work closer together to address the needs of the sector following the debate.

While the outcome following the petition is uncertain, The Caterer understands the message that hospitality wants more say within government has been heard.

A further question on the petition is due to be asked in the House of Lords on 3 February.

Photo: Shutterstock

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