Industry 'shafted' by Government

By Ed Bedington contact

- Last updated on GMT

How have pubs reacted to Plan B?

Related tags: Legislation, Pubs, Christmas, Bookings, Government, Coronavirus, Plan B

Cancellations are reported to be flooding in from across hospitality in the wake of the Government's shift to Plan B.

Operators across social media have reacted with rage to the news, claiming the Government has "shafted" the sector with the decision to work from home, with many pointing the finger to March 2020 when the Prime Minister told people to not go to the pub.

Chris Solely, CEO of Cameron's Brewery, tweeted: "Cancellations coming in thick and fast... this is like early March 20 when people were told not to go to the pub but we had no support. Urgent government grants, rates, furlough, extended VAT and rates support needed. Our sector needed Xmas to try and recover."

Other operators reported swathes of cancellations for Christmas bookings with one business saying they had lost 450 bookings overnight.

Questions were also being raised around the need for restrictions, with Graham Harris, CFO of the East London Pub Company tweeting: "Cases have been increasing since 5 October. Hospitalisations are still declining. That's more than a 2 week lag. We're in a different place now and need to get on with living."

For some the decision to move to Plan B was inevitable, but happened a week earlier than expected. Questions are now being asked about how operators are expected to enforce the rules, particularly against the background of allegations of parties in Downing Street last Christmas. The lack of faith in Government will make that job even harder they claim.

Overall, the mood in the industry is one of anger across the board, summed up by Welsh operator Jonathan Greatorex, who tweeted: "I am incandescent with rage at the way with which our industry has yet again been treated by this government."

Related topics: Legislation

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