Opinion

Hospitality singled out as ‘villain’ in latest Test and Trace update

By Gav Young, the Plough and Barleycorn, Isle of Wight

- Last updated on GMT

'Unruly' customers: The inclusion of a cautionary note on dealing with customers who become ‘unruly’ is a frank admission that once again the Government are putting hostility at the forefront of hospitality
'Unruly' customers: The inclusion of a cautionary note on dealing with customers who become ‘unruly’ is a frank admission that once again the Government are putting hostility at the forefront of hospitality

Related tags: Coronavirus, test and trace, Legislation, Health and safety

Despite the sense of dread that I now feel every time that there is a Covid rule change, I took the plunge and read the updated Test and Trace rules.

I read these safely in the knowledge that the Government is entirely guided by the science. I know we can’t see the science, but that is because we are not clever enough to see it, after all we couldn’t see the Emperor’s new clothes, could we?

Test and Trace has cost a fortune and been a disaster so the best thing we can do is force more people to use it. Instead of recording the lead member of a group, as you guide them to a table for mandatory table service, you now have to record every member. 

The emphasis is on using the NHS app but there is a new requirement for us to view the phone and ensure that the person has checked in.

Since the check-in is not displayed on the phone – unless you dig into the history logs – this means we will have to watch every member of the party, no more than six remember, log in. 

I can’t wait for the hilarious responses when we ask somebody who has checked in, while queuing for a table, if they wouldn’t mind ‘checking in again so we can watch’. 

Remember the heady days of December last year when you could make a beeline for the younger member of the party who had their phone already in hand? Alas no more, now you will have to wait patiently whilst Nana finds her phone, her glasses and then forgets her pin code.

‘We are not all in this together’ 

But these are troubled times and, guided by the science, the Government are trying to steer us slowly back to normality after all we are all in this together. 

Except, and this won’t surprise you, we are not all in this together. 

Once again hospitality is singled out as some Machiavellian villain. We are warned of dire consequences if we do not refuse entry to anybody not checking in and doing so correctly. 

Only in hospitality do we have to refuse entry to those who don’t check in. Fail to check in at the local cinema and they will ‘strongly encourage’ you to, the same at a sports stadium. But a pub or restaurant must refuse you entry if you fail to check in. 

If you were in any doubt as to how the Government view hospitality, then it is laid clear in the cautionary note on dealing with customers who become ‘unruly’ (they only do that in hospitality settings) and the need to call the police if you feel unsafe. 

The inclusion of this paragraph is a frank admission that once again the Government are putting hostility at the forefront of hospitality.

Related topics: Health & safety

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