Sacrificial lamb’s off today – the restaurant had to close
Blue or Red (or any other politically-hued colour), Brexiter or Remainer, the chances are you’re unimpressed by the Government’s decision to slap a six-month 10pm closing time order on any licensed establishment.
Restaurants are having to play fair by their customers and make 8.30pm the cut-off time for final bookings. Bars and pubs are having to shout out ‘last orders’ at 9.30pm in order to clear their premises. As for nightclubs, well let’s not go there. For the young, the unattached or just those who don’t want their evening to end, it’s a case of ‘abandon hope’ – at least until the other side of winter.
We all want to get through this pandemic, but we also recognise the need to keep the country on its feet economically.
What really sticks in the craw is that these establishments have been going above and beyond in complying with restrictions brought in to combat the spread of Covid-19. Go to any pub, any restaurant and look around. You’ll see people seated in small groups, talking quietly, not moving around and only removing face masks when they’re settled. Staff are conscientiously following protocols, hygiene is high quality – you couldn’t ask for more, other than shutting down an entire industry, which is what the recent restrictions feel like.
Obviously, we all want to get through this pandemic, but we also recognise the need to keep the country on its feet economically. The Government needs to rethink this short-sighted approach to hospitality quickly before hundreds of thousands of angry, out of pocket or unemployed hospitality workers and their families start casting around for someone to blame.