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• LIVE: NTIA boss calls hugging message 'bizarre and illogical'

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Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest updates and reactions to lockdown news impacting the pub sector (image: Getty/Michael Bland)
Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest updates and reactions to lockdown news impacting the pub sector (image: Getty/Michael Bland)

Related tags: Legislation, Health and safety, Beer, Pubs, Wales, Scotland, England, ukhospitality, Bbpa

Coronavirus latest: the late night sector said it has been unfairly targeted after guidance on close contact between family and friends is to be relaxed.

10.56 - 'Reopening in name only' Scottish trade body says

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) in Scotland has urged the First Minister to reconsider tough restrictions on the trade.

The trade body says rules on opening hours, live music and social distancing mean it is a "reopening in name only."

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to announce later today that the country can progress to the next level of lockdown easing, which would permit alcohol sales indoors from 17 May.

The NTIA are calling for a "crisis summit" as it says some 39,000 jobs are at risk.

Gavin Stevenson, director of the Mor-Rioghain Group and vice chair of NTIA Scotland said: "For thousands of hard pressed Night Time Economy businesses being bankrupted by the commercially unviable levels system, 17 May is a reopening in name only. 

"While people in England can now hug and kiss friends and family, and huge music festivals are being sold out this summer, people in Scotland are forced to revert to two metre social distancing even to listen to an acoustic musician at level zero in the restrictions system.

"Our legal action is continuing at pace and we look forward to a day in court very soon where we will challenge the proportionality of all ongoing restrictions and the clearly discriminatory effects of the Coronavirus Restrictions Act 2020.”

09.47 - 'Ending social distancing is fundamental'

Scrapping social distancing rules will be key to the sector's recovery, pub bosses have said.

Co-founder of Inception Group Charlie Gilkes tweeted that the sector was "hugely restricted" until 21 June, when it is hoped table service will not be required.

Tuesday 11 April, 09.14 - 'Why hugs not clubs'?

Night Time Industries Association chief executive Micheal Kill said it was “bizarre and illogical” to endorse hugging in “household environments” while people cannot dance in hospitality venues.

Closed sector: clubs have been closed since the start of pandemic restrictions in March 2020(image: Getty/Michael Bland)
Closed sector: clubs have been closed since the start of pandemic restrictions in March 2020(image: Getty/Michael Bland)

He said data on coronavirus infections pointed to household settings being associated with more risk of infection than venues.

Kill added: “While we welcome the progression of the roadmap to recovery, we must clarify that the vast majority of hospitality environments and performance spaces operating with social distancing constraints are not viable. 

"Keeping social distancing measures in place will put many businesses at risk, further elongating the sectors recovery process.”

“Nightclubs and late-night economy businesses are still in a critical position, with no changes to restrictions or guidance until post 21 June,” Kill added.

The CEO questioned why the Government had decided “hugs not clubs”.

Kill said: “This looks and feels like the Government pushing nightclubs to the back of the queue once again”.

There have been Government pilots of large participation events without social distancing including at nightclubs and tonight's BRIT Awards.

Kill's words come after the Prime Minister announced pubs can reopen for indoor trade from Monday 17 May with table service and social distancing rules in place.

16.08 - 'Essential all restrictions disappear' this summer, says Greene King boss 

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, has welcomed the expected announcement that indoor hospitality will be able to reopen next week but cautioned the sector needs all rules abolished to fully recover.

Mackenzie said: “It’s great that from next Monday we’ll be able to welcome our customers back inside our pubs and get more of our team members back to work. Since we reopened outdoors in some of our pubs in April, frequent spells of cold and wet weather have made it particularly trying for our teams who are serving our customers outside.

"Even though the vast majority of our of our pubs will be open next week, we’ll still be operating at significantly reduced capacity, so it’s essential all restrictions disappear as promised on 21 June so we can return to the full pub experience that people have missed so much.”

15.19 - Sector in Wales call on Government to act

A letter has been sent to the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford, who was re-elected last week, calling for action to revive the pub and brewing sector.

Companies representing hundreds of businesses and the Welsh Beer & Pub Association (WBPA), asked for further financial support and more clarity on how restrictions will be eased.

Around half of pubs in Wales have remained closed as they do not have usable outside space, the WBPA estimated.

The letter asked for immediate grant support for businesses and confirmation that indoor trade would be allowed to resume on 17 May.

Businesses also asked for confirmation the rule of six for up to six households would be maintained indoors.

A clear timeline for removing all trading restrictions was desperately needed, sector bodies agreed.

13.49 - Chancellor asked to step in with support if restrictions continue

UKHospitality (UKH) boss Kate Nicholls has written to the Chancellor asking for more financial support to help pubs rebuild as pandemic restrictions are eased.

In a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, Nicholls urged the introduction of further financial support to ensure the stability of the hospitality sector.

Nicholls focused on financial issues including rent debt and capital, which threatened “structural instability” for the sector if not resolved.

It was not possible under step two (outdoor trading) or step three (indoor trading with restrictions) for the vast majority of businesses to be viable, she added.

Businesses were also concerned that coronavirus measures such as social distancing and table service could continue into the summer months.

Nicholls said the Treasury must “stand ready to deliver extra support measures if there is any slippage in the roadmap that result in restrictions remaining beyond 21 June.”

11.32 - Almost 100k venues to reopen for indoor trade

Some 99,045 venues will be legally permitted to reopen for indoor trade on 17 May under step three of the Government's lockdown easing plan.

The numbers come from real estate adviser Altus Group, which said 37,515 pubs will have the option to reopen for indoor trade.

Some operators have lamented they cannot reopen on 17 May owing to social distancing requirements and their venues being too small.

11.10 - What will the Prime Minister say later?

Johnson is expected to state data supports the easing of rules at a Downing Street press conference at 5pm.

Today is one week before stage three of the Government’s roadmap, which stated no earlier than Monday 17 May, some restrictions will be eased.

As part of the guidance for England, pubs will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew will be in place however, operators will have to use table service only.

Also included in the third stage of the roadmap, other indoor locations such as indoor entertainment venues, the remainder of the accommodation sector and indoor group sports will be permitted.

Reporting by Nikkie Thatcher

Monday 10 May, 09.34 - Eyes on indoor reopening announcement 

It is expected that the Prime Minister will announce England is set to progress to the next step of the Government's lockdown easing roadmap.

Lockdown easing: the Prime Minister is to make a statement from Downing Street this evening (image: Pippa Fowles, No 10 Downing Street via Flickr)
Lockdown easing: the Prime Minister is to make a statement from Downing Street this evening (image: Pippa Fowles, No 10 Downing Street via Flickr)

Boris Johnson will make a statement at 5pm from Downing Street, where it is expected he will give a green light to indoor hospitality reopening and household mixing from Monday 17 May.

It has also been reported the Government is set to release more flexible guidance on social contact, which endorses hugging and kissing between close family and friends.

When pubs reopen for indoor trade, operators will have to ensure there is social distancing between groups and table service will be mandated.

  • Do you have a question about the rules on reopening indoors? Get in touch and The Morning Advertiser​ will try to answer, rzvyl.unjxvaf@jeoz.pbz​ 

14.16 - Demand for pub pints causing supply issues in retail

12.03 - Pub trade has been 'victimised' by Government

The Morning Advertiser​ editor Ed Bedington has written a column following revelations of the number of outbreaks associated to pubs since last summer.

He writes: "We’ve been victimised by a government that claims to have no agenda against our sector, off the back of tiny numbers of infections. What was the infection rate in non-essential, and even essential, retail? Oh wait, they didn’t and don’t have to do any track or tracing.

"This Government should hang its head in shame for the way it has handled our sector, vilifying and scapegoating an entire industry than in reality, would been part of a solution to the problem, rather than painted as the main cause of the problem."

09.15 - Concerns after clusters of Indian Covid variant found

There have been growing concerns about one version of the Indian coronavirus variant with public health experts pushing for it to be made a "variant of concern," the media has reported today.

Coronavirus concerns: there have been worries about one version of the Indian Covid-19 variant (image: Getty/Grigorev_Vladimir)
Coronavirus concerns: there have been worries about one version of the Indian Covid-19 variant (image: Getty/Grigorev_Vladimir)

Public Health England is tracking a B16172 version which is thought to spread more quickly than two other versions of the Indian variant, the BBC said.

A number of cases with the variant have been discovered across the country, including in a care home where residents had been vaccinated twice, The Guardian​ also reported.

Some 48 clusters of B16172 have been identified, including cases linked to secondary schools and religious gatherings.

Kent, South Africa and Brazil strains of the virus have been categorised as "variants of concern" in the UK. 

Ministers have previously said the country is on track to progress to the next stage of lockdown easing on Monday 17 May.

The country must meet certain conditions​, including the successful continuation of a vaccine rollout and that it is certain new variants will not fundamentally change the risk of easing restrictions.

16.25 - 'Please don't complain about the cold'

Operators told The Morning Advertiser​ how they approached cold customers.

15.16 - Home-working here to stay, BBC report says

The BBC has found that almost all of the country's 50 biggest employers do not plan to bring workers back to the office on a full-time basis.

14.24 - Listen: the latest episode of The Lock In

11.43 - Beer gardens push through bad weather

Co-founder and CEO of Arc Inspirations, Martin Wolstencroft, tweeted a clip of his pint being covered by hail this week.

It comes as pub operators expressed their frustration after poor weather dampened trade and forced venues to close over the bank holiday weekend.

Thursday 6 May, 09.17 - Transmission report 'very encouraging' 

Trade body chiefs have welcomed a paper from Government scientists on the transmission risks associated with hospitality and said it is proof pubs were "unfairly picked on" with restrictions last year.

Trade voices: sector bodies have welcomed a paper from scientists on the transmission risk associated with hospitality settings(image: Getty/Selitbull)
Trade voices: sector bodies have welcomed a paper from scientists on the transmission risk associated with hospitality settings(image: Getty/Selitbull)

The paper included data on outbreaks in hospitality​ and leisure between 29 June 2020 and 14 February 2021.

There were a total of 107 outbreaks in pub settings, representing 16% of outbreaks across the hospitality and leisure sectors.

An outbreak was defined as two or more individuals testing positive for the virus with either an identified direct exposure in a setting, such as spending time in close contact, or an absence of “sustained local community transmission.”

Chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, Emma McClarkin, said: “This study shows that pubs have been following all the guidance, implemented the necessary restrictions and are safe. It also shows that pubs were unfairly picked on by the tier restrictions last year.

“Moving forward, this study makes it all the more necessary for the Government to allow pubs to fully reopen without any restrictions from 21 June .”

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said it was "very encouraging" to see the paper mention eating out in venues was not associated with increased likelihood of catching coronavirus. 

She added: "The safety of hospitality venues is not in doubt, thanks to a huge investment from the sector into creating Covid-secure environments and this, along with continued falling rates of transmission, means that the Government must stick to its roadmap confirm indoor hospitality reopening on 17 May and the removal of all restrictions on 21 June.

"This will not only provide hospitality businesses with much needed certainty but considerably boost consumer confidence and help kickstart the economic recovery”

15.57 - Cold customers: let us know your experiences

How are you helping customers stay warm at your pub? Do you offer blankets or have you invested in heaters? Have you experienced hostility from customers about the cold weather?

Your view: have you experienced customers turning up in T-shirts and complaining about the cold? (image: Getty/Ridofranz)
Your view: have you experienced customers turning up in T-shirts and complaining about the cold? (image: Getty/Ridofranz)

The Morning Advertiser​ is looking to hear from pub operators on how they have adapted their offer for outdoor trade and customers' responses.

Please get in touch on rzvyl.unjxvaf@jeoz.pbz​ 

15.39 - £80.8bn worth of sales wiped out in past 12 months

13.57 - Report reveals outbreak numbers in pubs

Trade bosses have said a paper produced by Government scientists proves hospitality is a safe environment.

The paper prepared by the Environmental Modelling Group (EMG) Transmission Group examined the coronavirus transmission risk associated with hospitality. 

Titled Insights on transmission of COVID-19 with a focus on the hospitality, retail and leisure sector​, the report was used in meetings held by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) in April 2021.

The paper looked at outbreaks in hospitality and leisure from 29 June 2020 until 14 February 2021, a period in which pubs were closed for several months.

An outbreak was defined as two or more individuals testing positive for the virus with either an identified direct exposure in a setting, such as spending time in close contact, or an absence of “sustained local community transmission.”

There were a total of 107 outbreaks in pub settings, representing 16% of outbreaks across the hospitality and leisure sectors.

Restaurants experienced 119 associated outbreaks, at 18% of the overall total.

12.11 - ‘Business rates cap will harm pub revival’

The Government must re-consider its proposed £2m business rates relief cap or face the continued “systemic closure” of pubs, according to Colliers International’s head of business rates.

As previously reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA),​ Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, announced that last year’s 100% business rates holiday for the hospitality sector would be extended three months to the end of June 2021 in his most recent Spring Budget​. 

Sunak explained that rates bills thereafter would be discounted for the remaining nine months of the financial year by two thirds, up to the value of £2m, for closed businesses, with a lower cap for those who have been able to open, for nine months. 

Having crunched the Chancellor’s numbers, Colliers found that Greene King, Stonegate, Punch, JD Wetherspoon (JDW), Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) and Marston’s combined business rates liability for 2021/2 will be £401m.

After three months’ relief, this reduces to a total of £301m, broken down as £101m for Greene King, £22m for Stonegate, £35m for Punch, £40m for JDW, £73m for M&B and £30m for Marston’s 

Reporting by Stuart Stone

11.18 - Bad weather leads to pub closures

Pubs and bars were forced to close this week as cold and wet weather hit the UK and dampened outdoor trade.

The Dog & Parrot in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire was one site to shut over the bank holiday weekend after it felt it would not be safe to operate.

The pub was hit by “torrential rain and strong winds” on Monday (3 May) after managing to remain open on Saturday and Sunday despite cold temperatures.

Other operators described difficulty trying to keep customers dry while ensuring outdoor structures had 50% of their walls exposed as per Government guidance.

Wednesday 5 May, 09.22 - Tourism bosses call for extra bank holiday

Tourism chiefs have called for an additional bank holiday at the end of September, to help the sector recover.

Businesses were hit by rain and cold weather during the early May bank holiday weekend, forcing some pubs to close.

Now, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), has called for a bank holiday to be added by Royal Proclamation.

UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls also backed the idea on Twitter and said an extra holiday would be a "boost" for hospitality.

One day that has been touted is Monday 27 September.

16.40 - Adventure Bar Group acquired by Nightcap

Recently formed hospitality group Nightcap has completed its second purchase by acquiring the owner of brands including Blame Gloria and Tonight Josephine, Adventure Bar Group.

The deal, completed for an undisclosed sum, means Adventure founders Thomas Kidd and Tobias Jackson will continue to work within the business as Nightcap pushes its growth from nine sites up to 40 in cities nationwide.

13.17 - Reports of social distancing being scrapped but masks to remain

According to The Times​, the one-metre plus social distancing rule will be scrapped after Monday 21 June, and pubs would not be limited on capacity.

However, the newspaper also reported one-way systems and masks for those moving around venues inside may be kept.

12.08 - Operators lose High Court battle over indoor reopening

A High Court judge has ruled in favour of the Government in a case over the reopening date for indoor hospitality.

The case sought to challenge the reopening date of 17 May and argued there was no evidence base for the sector to remain closed while other indoor businesses such as non-essential retail reopened earlier.

However, Honourable Mr Justice Julian Knowles said it would be “academic” to push forward indoor reopenings given the time it would take for a hearing.

The virus meant a precautionary or cautious approach by the Department of Health was justified, the Judge said.

The action was launched by night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester and operator Sacha Lord and Punch founder Hugh Osmond, who both expressed disappointment with the ruling.

The duo had hoped for a speedier ruling and said it took a while for the case to get in the hands of a Judge last week.

Tuesday 4 May, 09.16 - Nightclub pilot attendees 'overwhelmed with emotion'

Some 6,000 revellers enjoyed dancing and singing at events free from social distancing over the weekend in a Government pilot.

Pilot events: a nightclub in Liverpool was the first to welcome back revellers after over a year of enforced closure. (image: Getty/nd3000)
Pilot events: a nightclub in Liverpool was the first to welcome back revellers after over a year of enforced closure. (image: Getty/nd3000)

The Event Research Programme is running between 10 and 15 pilots in April and May across a variety of venues including cinemas, sports venues and nightclubs.

Those participating will have to be tested upon entry with the suspension of other measures such as face coverings and social distancing. 

Thousands attended events at Liverpool's Bramley Moore Dock Warehouse on 30 April and 1 May, featuring the artists Fatboy Slim​, The Blessed Madonna​ and Jayda G​.

Individuals who attended the First Dance and other events in the pilots will have to take a test a few days after the event too.

Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) boss Michael Kill described Friday’s clubbing pilot as “amazing."

He explained: “Artists on the night were overwhelmed with emotion at being back performing, and we have seen an amazing response online with thousands of emotional messages of support from the industry and public.

“This is a great step forward in educating the government, scientists and medical professionals in real time.

"We need to wait for the data to be released in the coming weeks to assess the next stages, but it is clear that there is only one way that we will be able to save the workforce and businesses within this sector, and that is by opening the doors."

16.44 - £80.8bn worth of sales wiped out in past 12 months

The coronavirus pandemic has cost the hospitality sector more than £80bn worth of sales from April 2020 to March 2021, new research has found.

The latest edition of the UKHospitality (UKH) Quarterly Tracker with CGA found sales during the period was £46bn – a drop of 64% (£126.8bn) compared to the previous 12 months.

This fall is equivalent to £220m sales each day or more than £9m an hour, reflecting the impact regional and national lockdowns have had on the sector.

It follows data from CGA and AlixPartners’ Market Recovery Monitor​, which found about 12,000 licensed venues closed in Britain, between January 2020 and March 2021.

Reporting by Nikkie Thatcher

13.34 - NTIA launches legal action over restrictions in Scotland

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has announced its plans to proceed with legal action against the Scottish Government.

The organisation said it would proceed with a judicial review challenging the validity of all legal restrictions currently being imposed upon hospitality and night time economy businesses in Scotland under The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020.

Social distancing, restrictions on music and dancing and table service make it difficult for businesses to make enough to survive, the body said.

The sector acknowledged that restrictions were initially necessary and ensured they were followed but the NTIA said it felt the virus was not the same public health risk it was a few months ago.The NTIA pointed to the successful vaccine roll out in Scotland.Restrictions on "capacity, activities and operating hours" in hospitality are no longer justifiable or proportionate, the body said.It said any continued application of such emergency restrictions would now be in breach of Article 1 of the first Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, which applies in the UK by virtue of the Human Rights Act 1998. 

11.39 - Helpline for hospitality workers

Friday 30 April, 09.26 - Recruitment woes after drop in EU workers

The pub sector has seen the biggest decline in EU workers in the hospitality sector, dropping from 26% in Q1 2019 to 21% in Q1 2021. 

There has been a drop in EU workers after Brexit (image: Getty/ViewApart)
There has been a drop in EU workers after Brexit (image: Getty/ViewApart)

The figures come from Fourth, which has analysed data from more than 700 hospitality companies.

It found in Q1 2021, 34.9% of new starters were from the EU, compared to 48.6% in Q1 2019.

What’s more, the workforce headcount was down 28% compared to April 2020.

It comes after pub operators told The Morning Advertiser​ they had struggled with last minute resignations and staff wanting a change of lifestyle and different career.

Sebastien Sepierre, managing director EMEA, at Fourth, said: “As restrictions ease further and indoor trading returns on Monday 17 May, the necessity to recruit will heighten, placing a greater spotlight on the availability of workers. We have been tracking the make-up of the workforce for a number of years, and its reliance on transient workers from European countries has been a prominent feature, particularly in high demand back-of-house roles, such as chefs.

He added: "Clearly, the pandemic, coupled with new immigration systems post-Brexit, have had a significant impact on the make-up and availability of workers from EU countries within our industry, which will become increasingly prominent as we return to full capacity."

15.35 - Statement on vaccine passports 'empty'

13.33 - Pubs consider price increases

A number of The Morning Advertiser's (MA)​ readers have increased their prices amid reopening this month (April), following months of closure.

Some 88 operators voted in the poll, with more than half (58%) saying they have increased their prices, less than a quarter (24%) haven’t pushed prices up but were planning to, and just 18% had no plans to implement a rise.

Earlier this month, pubco Star Pubs & Bars responded to reports it suggested lessees and tenants increase their prices​ on beer amid reopening for outdoor areas from 12 April. 

The MA​​ understands the pub company information that was sent to its licensees mentioned that operators should consider reviewing their prices.

The MA ​​also learnt the communication cited research from CGA, which suggested most customers were prepared to pay more for a pint of beer.

Reporting by Nikkie Thatcher

10.42 - Michael Gove to update MPs on vaccine passports

Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove will update MPs on the review into Covid-status certification checks later today, it has been reported.

He will make an update in a written statement to the House of Commons today (Thursday) but the review is still ongoing.

The Guardian​ has echoed reports in the Daily Mail​ from earlier in the week claiming that the Government will not introduce vaccine passports in pubs.

The newspaper quotes a Whitehall source as saying officials had chosen to focus on "higher-risk settings that are not open and big events” and move away from considering a passport system in smaller spaces like pubs.

There is expected to be another update next month.

Thursday 29 April, 09.14 -  Consumers booking days off to visit the pub

More than one in ten customers have booked at least one day off just to visit a hospitality venue, a survey of the general public has revealed.

Return to pubs: a UK survey has shown the demand from consumers to get back into beer gardens (image: Getty/Merlas)
Return to pubs: a UK survey has shown the demand from consumers to get back into beer gardens (image: Getty/Merlas)

Streetbees surveyed 682 UK customers and found 47% have visited a pub bar or restaurant at least once since lockdown lifted on Monday 12 April.

Of the respondents surveyed, 15% said they have taken at least one day off work specifically to visit a pub, bar or restaurant. Some 5% booked more than one day.

A small number of consumers surveyed (6%) said they had been unable to attend a booking as planned.

Just 2% of the respondents said they had not informed a venue they would not be attending after making a booking while two thirds of respondents said they had informed the venue.

Some, 3% in the 36-45 age bracket did not inform the venue that they couldn’t attend their booking, in addition to 3% in the 46+ age bracket.

What’s more, out of the number of customers not appearing to bookings, 2% were in the 18-25 age bracket and 1% in the 26-35 group. 

15.20 - Beer demand has ‘surpassed expectations’ but big brewers coping

Clamour for pints amid the on-trade reopening for outdoor trading has exceeded predictions, but a number of the big brewers have stated they are keeping up.

The Daily Mail​ ​reported Heineken was limiting UK pub orders with licensees only receiving three kegs a week of Birra Moretti due to supply issues.

A spokesperson for Heineken UK estimated more than 10m adults in England have headed back to the great British pub, with many drinkers opting for a draught pint.

“Demand for Birra Moretti and Amstel has totally surpassed our most optimistic forecasts and our breweries are working round the clock to deal with this high level of demand," they added.

“We are working closely with our customers to keep them regularly updated on the situation and to offer alternative beers from the extensive Heineken UK range of brands, as we increase production.”

Reporting by Nikkie Thatcher

13.51 - No one knows how to use the NHS app'

Pub goers have been hesitant to use the NHS contact-tracing app and been reluctant to hand over their details, operators have reported.

Customers and all other visitors must leave their contact details when visiting a pub premises since beer gardens reopened on Monday 12 April in England.

Pub operators should ensure every member of a group has either left their details through using the NHS coronavirus app or by pen and paper, for potential contact-tracing by NHS Test and Trace.

While individuals can use the app to quickly scan QR code posters at venues, licensees have said many customers are confused or frustrated by the requirement.

One licensee to share the challenges of the requirement was Heath Ball, who operates the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub the Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, north London.

After reopening his doors for outdoor trade earlier this month​, he told The Morning Advertiser (MA)​: “The amount of people that don't know they have to give their details so it's difficult checking them in.

“No one knows how to use the app, they try and take a photo of it like a normal QR code where it leads you to the website."

10.24 - How have customers reacted to being asked for contact details?

Vote in The MA's​ twitter poll below.

10.09 - Vaccine study offers hope for 'return to normal'

Just one dose of a coronavirus vaccine can reduce household transmission by up to half, a study has shown.

Public Health England looked at those given a single dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca jab who went on to contract the virus three weeks later.

These individuals were between 38% and 49% less likely to transmit the virus compared to unvaccinated people. 

What’s more, the risk of a vaccinated individual developing a symptomatic case of the virus is reduced by 60% to 65% at four weeks after a first jab.

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE, said: "Vaccines are vital in helping us return to a normal way of life. Not only do vaccines reduce the severity of illness and prevent hundreds of deaths every day, we now see they also have an additional impact on reducing the chance of passing Covid-19 on to others."

Wednesday 28 April, 09.42 - Decision on reopening legal challenge soon

Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester and operator Sacha Lord is anticipating a decision from a High Court judge this week, after delays.

Alongside Punch founder Hugh Osmond, Lord challenged the Government on its strategy to reopen society, which designated indoor hospitality a later relaunch date than outdoor trade and non-essential retail.

He tweeted: "We were informed a ruling would be made the week commencing the 19th.

"We have now been informed, a High Court Judge was not available last week and it is now, at last, sat with him.

He said he was now expecting an update "imminently."

14.38 - No-shows are a 'disgrace'

Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester and operator Sacha Lord has spoken out against people not showing up for bookings at pubs and bars.

  • Have you had a problem with people not turning up after booking a table at your pub? Please get in touch on rzvyl.unjxvaf@jeoz.pbz​ 

13.03 - 25% of adults vaccinated

11.46 - Let us know your experiences

11.44 - Sensible' for Prime Minister to drop vaccine passports for pubs

The pub trade has welcomed reports Covid-status certification will not be introduced in pubs.

New restrictions pubs

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has moved away from supporting the use of Covid certification checks in hospitality, it was reported in the Daily Mail.

Instead, the vaccine passports could be used just to unlock large participation sectors including theatres, nightclubs and big sporting events.

The Government told The Morning Advertiser​ no decisions had been taken.

However, it is understood Covid checks have been ruled out in essential retail and transport for accessibility reasons. 

A Government spokesperson said: “We are considering a range of evidence around Covid-status certification and whether it may have a role in opening up higher risk settings safely. The review is ongoing and no decisions have been taken."

Tuesday 27 April, 09.23 - 'Stamp out abuses across hospitality sector'

A union has called on ministers to improve legal protections for chefs so they do not face pressure to work more than 48 hours a week.

Lockdown live: chefs are pressured into long working weeks, a union has claimed(image: Getty/Photo_Concepts)
Lockdown live: chefs are pressured into long working weeks, a union has claimed(image: Getty/Photo_Concepts)

Unite said the hospitality sector was “frequently failing in its duty of care” to chefs.

It was standard practice for bosses to include an opt-out from the Working Time Directive into employment contracts, the union said.

Unite said ministers need to change the law so that chefs are automatically protected by the Working Time Directive – still in place even though the UK has left the EU – which limits the working week to 48 hours.

Unite national officer for hospitality Dave Turnbull said: “The employers then underpin this deception, with chefs in particular, by placing them on salaried pay rather than hourly rates. This results in excessive hours and, in many cases, underpayment of the minimum wage."

The union is calling on chefs to opt back into the 48-hour maximum working week and for the opt-out option to be outlawed.

Turnbull added: “There is a clear case for the legislation to be strengthened to stamp out these abuses across the hospitality sector, which is already suffering from a ‘recruitment and retention’ crisis as restaurants, pubs and bars emerge from the Covid lockdown restrictions.”

The union will be holding a minute's silence on Workers’ Memorial Day on Wednesday 28 April to remember the hospitality staff who have died from coronavirus. 

15.39 - Slash curfew in Scotland, trade body urges

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has called on the Scottish Government to abolish limitations on opening hours.

It said under the current levels framework to ease the country out of lockdown,  many pubs will not be viable until level zero. 

SBPA president Edith Monfries said:  “For many premises the ongoing restrictions mean they still cannot open and even for those who are opening their doors again today, the restrictions make a return to profitability difficult, and many will operate at a deficit until further progress through the levels.”

Businesses had made huge investments into health and safety measures, the president added.

Providing no “major hospitality related incidents,” the Government should consider allowing a return to licensing hours, Monfries said.

She explained: “Unfortunately, the maintenance of the curfew severely limits profitable hours and for many of Scotland licensed premises, it could be the difference between survival and bankruptcy.”

13.57 -  Calls for indoor payment rules to be relaxed

11.51 - Scottish and Welsh hospitality reopen

Pubs in Wales and Scotland are allowed to reopen for outdoor service today (Monday 26 April) after months of shutdown.

In Wales, hospitality businesses are only permitted to reopen for outdoor trade, similar to their English counterparts' resumption of trade on Monday 12 April.

In Scotland, pubs can sell alcohol outdoors subject to local licensing laws to a maximum group of six people from six households.

While pubs can also open indoors, they are banned from selling alcohol.  

10.30 - Indoor trade challenge decision will come 'early' this week

Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester and operator Sacha Lord said he is now expecting an update this week on his legal challenge over hospitality's reopening date.

He said he thought a decision from a Judge would come last week.

Alongside Punch founder Hugh Osmond, Lord had challenged the Government on its decision to permit non-essential retail to reopen ahead of indoor hospitality.

The duo argue indoor hospitality is safe and has been unfairly targeted by the Government. They have pressed the Health Secretary to issue fresh evidence to justify the Government's lockdown easing roadmap.

Monday 26 April, 09.23 - 'Prime Minister ditches Covid checks for pubs'

Welcome to The Morning Advertiser's​ live feed. 

As pubs reopen in Wales and Scotland today, it has been reported that the Prime Minister has veered away from the idea of implementing a vaccine passport system for the hospitality sector. 

Lockdown live: pubs will reopen in Wales and Scotland today after months of enforced closure.
Lockdown live: pubs will reopen in Wales and Scotland today after months of enforced closure.

Previously, the Government was understood to be considering proposing a Covid certification system that would require pubs to ask customers for proof of vaccination, a negative test result or virus antibodies from a recent infection. 

Pubs operating such systems would then be allowed to forgo social distancing and other safety measures later this year. The Government's lockdown roadmap sets out an intention to abolish all legal restrictions on social contact from 21 June at the earliest. 

However, The​ Daily Mail​ has now reported that the Government is now focusing solely on unlocking large events, including nightclubs and theatres.

The newspaper quoted a Government source as saying: "I would be amazed if we introduce Covid certification for hospitality this summer. The focus is more on big events and reopening sectors that we struggled to open last year."

In a survey carried out by The MA​, eight in ten licensees said they did not support proposals for vaccine passports.

Related topics: Legislation

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