UK hospitality sector to demonstrate against ‘catastrophic’ coronavirus restrictions

Members of the UK hospitality sector are planning to demonstrate against ”catastropic” Covid-19 restrictions at London’s Parliament Square on Monday as part of a move called HospoDemo.

10.30am, Monday 19 October: Demonstrators are to meet on Parliament Square, London

The sector, suffering after months of lockdown, only to open with restrictions on their operating capacity, exacerbated by the ‘rule of six’ – making any gathering of more than six people illegal – and a 10pm curfew, are now facing further setbacks following the announcement yesterday that London and Essex were move to a ‘high’ level of alert regarding the virus, which brings with it yet more damaging measures.

From midnight tonight, London and Essex will face a ban on households mixing together in pubs and restaurants indoors, which, hospitality bosses say will have a disastrous effect on the sector, as they incur all the costs of staying open, while faced with yet another restriction.
Indeed, since the announcement yesterday, restaurateurs have reported a raft of cancellations.
Speaking to the Standard, Ros Morgan, chief executive of the Heart of London business group, which represents traders in and around Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, described the latest measures as “catastropic” for the hospitality sector.
This follows extensive investment by the sector in making their venues ‘Covid safe’.
Consequently, HospoDemo has said that the additional restrictions from tonight will sound the deathknell for thousands of restaurants, bars, clubs and other related businesses, leaving a large proportion of UK hospitality’s 3 million+ workforce out of a job.
While those in the sector acknowledge the need to prioritise public health, they are at a loss why bars and restaurants should be targeted so severely when fewer than 5% of infections out of the home are related to hospitality, according to data from Public Health England.
It is for these reasons that the sector has organised a peaceful demonstration on Monday at 11am in front of Parliament to urge the government to revise its policies relating to hospitality venues, both in terms of restrictions and industry-specific support.
You can read more about HospoDemo here, as well as confirm your attendance here, or see the plan for Monday’s demonstration below.
From HospoDemo.com:
Join this peaceful (but noisy!) protest in front of parliament to make your voice heard and to urge the government to revise it’s policies relating to hospitality venues, in terms of restrictions and above all, financial support. Bring something hospitality-related to MAKE SOME NOISE, e.g pots, pans, ladles, cocktail shakers, wooden spoons, gongs etc. Wear your work uniform especially chef’s whites, aprons, etc.
HospoDemo is for anyone who works in, or is connected to hospitality, including: chefs, restaurateurs, operators, owners, GMs, sommeliers, waiting staff, bartenders, managers, KPs, publicans, caterers, producers, suppliers, PRs, buyers, hoteliers, baristas, marketing teams, events teams, cleaning staff, writers, publishers…the list goes on. We also welcome support from members of the public who care about hospitality and the prospect of their favourite restaurant, bar, pub, club, café or hotel closing down due to lack of government support.

SCHEDULE: MONDAY 19TH OCTOBER

10.30am Demonstrators meet on Parliament Square (SW1P 3BD) for this peaceful protest. Please only bring placards that are respectful in their message
11am The industry makes its voice heard with pots, pans, spoons, cocktail shakers full of stones, ladles, gongs etc.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

Every attendee is representing the hospitality industry as a whole. There will be many eyes on us, including a lot of press. Do not engage in any activities or behaviours that could damage the industry’s reputation. Feel free to bring children who are on half term.
Register your attendance in advance on our Facebook event page
WEAR A FACE COVERING & bring hand sanitiser
No antisocial behaviour: this is a peaceful protest. Do not attend if you are looking for trouble.
Respect social distancing rules as far as possible
Leave no trace
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