The industry is still waiting for an explanation for the curfew from those who have implemented the law and still refuse to reveal the rationale behind the decision.
The Morning Advertiser is urging its readers to use #CancelTheCurfew across your social media and to tag in your MPs and other politicians demanding an answer to the trade’s question – where’s the science for the curfew?
If they can’t answer that, then we want the Government to #CancelTheCurfew
A 10pm curfew for all pubs, bars and restaurants came into force in England on 24 September, meaning all customers have to be off site by 10pm or the venue will incur a fine.
The MA’s editor Ed Bedington and managing editor Nicholas Robinson, as well as many industry leaders, have spoken out against the rules, saying they will cause more problems than they are supposed to solve.
These concerns then became a reality within the first few nights of curfew’s enforcement when hundreds of punters, thrown out of venues, could be seen congregating in large groups on the streets of towns and cities.
Mayors, politicians and industry leaders soon called on the Government to cancel the curfew, arguing it was causing more harm than good.
Throwing people out onto the street
“The idea of taking away the safe, controlled environment of the pub and throwing people out onto the street at 10pm raised red flags immediately with leaders in the pub and bar trade,” said Bedington.
“Not only is it another blow to the on-trade, it is also a nonsense. There is no evidence that closing licensed venues earlier will help to stem the coronavirus infection rates.
“It also means people are all being herded outside of venues at the same time and mingling in large groups, which is obviously not going to help control the spread of the virus.
“Pubs and bars know how to operate Covid-safe venues,” Bedington continued. “As a trade, we have spent significant amounts of time and money following the Government’s reopening guidance.
“We have been operating safely since reopening and felt the welcome benefit of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme too. Now the Government is penalising us and blaming the sector for something they have no evidence to prove and are reluctant to explain why.
“This week saw Health Secretary Matt Hancock once more dodging the questions in Parliament, and we would call upon him and his cabinet colleagues to cull the curfew which is strangling the life from our industry.”
Government has yet to explain
The Government has yet to outline the science behind its decision to implement the 10pm curfew and show how this is helping to lower the coronavirus infection rate.
“If we could see the evidence, then the trade would likely support and back the curfew, at least we would know that we’re helping,” said Robinson. “The fact that all the stats say the problem isn’t coming from the pub trade is like a knife in the back.
“We can see from the Government’s own data that hospitality accounts for such a small number of coronavirus cases. We did everything possible to ensure the safety of our customers and staff and that is clear in the data.
“We want to continue providing customers with safe spaces to enjoy themselves in during this difficult time.”
The Morning Advertiser is therefore urging its readers to use #CancelTheCurfew on their social media channels. Tag in the Prime Minister, your local MP and let those in power know that we want an answer – give us the science or cancel the curfew.