Hospitality 'isn't a huge risk' to increasing infections

28 January 2021 by
Hospitality 'isn't a huge risk' to increasing infections

The hospitality sector is not seen as presenting a huge risk to increasing the spread of coronavirus, two public health experts have claimed.

Greg Fell, director of public health at Sheffield City Council, and Richard Harling, director of health and care at Staffordshire County Council, appeared before Parliament's Science and Technology Committee yesterday (27 January).

When asked about whether hospitality was a vector for infections, the pair said the spread mainly occurred in people's homes.

Fell said: "Most of the transmission events are within households and household to household.

"Hospitality doesn't crop up as a terribly big risk on our radar. When we look at the common exposure data set hospitality isn't a huge risk.

"There will have been transmission events within hospitality, but it's certainly nowhere near the top of my risk radar."

Harling added: "Back in the summer and autumn, once you put transmission between household members aside, the next most important one was transmission between different households.

"The hospitality sector did feature, but much lower down the list. At the moment, with the hospitality sector closed, the main [cause of spread] is other businesses and workplaces."

The pair appeared before the committee to discuss the issues with NHS Test and Trace, including its reliance on call centres to track down close contacts of Covid carriers.

Fell said the UK would probably "be in a better place" if local authorities had been consulted earlier to help reach residents.

Photo: Shutterstock

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