The UK hospitality sector is to stage another demonstration in London to urge the Government to ease coronavirus-related restrictions on the industry’s business activities, describing the latest measures as the “final straw”.
At 11am on Monday 7 December members of the hospitality industry will converge on Parliament Square for a second time in an attempt to influence Government policy surrounding Covid-19.
Hospitality is the UK’s third largest industry and accounts for 10% of all employment, not to mention thousands of ancillary businesses whose survival depends on outlets staying open.
The restrictions imposed as part of the latest tier system are seen by many across the industry as the final straw, robbing them of crucial Christmas trading that contributes up to 40% of annual profits.
This is despite the industry spending millions to make their venues COVID secure, coupled with the pre-lockdown PHE Weekly Surveillance Report (week 44), which showed that just 2% of Covid-19 transmissions could be traced back to a hospitality setting.
Dubbed HospoDemo, protestors from all parts of the industry will come together again to represent their trades, dressed in uniform, equipped with pots, pans, ladles, cocktail shakers, wooden spoons, last orders bells and other hospitality-related props, with which to make themselves heard.
At 11am, those present will turn to face the Houses of Parliament and make as much noise as possible to ensure their message is heard by MPs.
All attendees have been advised to adhere to social distancing measures and, of course, to come wearing a face covering.
HospoDemo is expecting a large turnout, as the industry is at its lowest ebb, with little hope of recovery for many. Prominent attendees at the first demo held on October 19 2020 included Yotam Ottolenghi, Jason Atherton, Tom Aikens, Fergus Henderson, Margot Henderson, Sly Augustin, Alex Kratena, Alessandro Palazzi and Jan Konetzki.
HospoDemo has been organised by long-standing industry marketer, Rachel Harty. She said: “Pubs, restaurants and bars are the lifeblood of communities and part of the fabric of Britain’s society and culture.”
She added, “Hospitality has been victimised for too long now, and I sincerely hope that Monday’s protest will lead to fewer restrictions and enhanced support. Otherwise, when the time comes to celebrate the end of the pandemic, many of our cherished pubs, restaurants and bars won’t have survived.”