Chef Tom Kerridge was a guest on last night’s Question Time, voicing his concerns about the danger of the collapse of the hospitality sector amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Kerridge, who runs the two Michelin starred Hand and Flowers in Marlow and the Kerridge Bar and Grill at the Corinthia London, said the sector now was under ‘huge, mounting pressure’ operating within the current tier restrictions, having spent a lot of money ‘making themselves Covid-secure and adhering to every health and safety measure asked’.
Appearing alongside, economist Liam Halligan, immunologist Peter Openshaw, Labour’s Sarah Jones and Conservative Michelle Donelan, Kerridge said the industry has been at ‘the frontline of businesses hit’ by the pandemic, and called for further investment to avoid huge job and business losses.
“The sector is under a huge pressure now, “he said, “with all these contradictory questions, hotels, pubs, restaurants have spent so much money over a period of time being able to reopen, making themselves Covid secure, health and safety adhered too, to get through that first lockdown period.
“Furlough has been helpful, but moving forward still need a lot more help.”
Interestingly scientist Openshaw, appearing via video link, said that he would ‘feel comfortable’ having a drink in a pub that was well ventilated, admitting that such venues are ‘highly unlikely’ to extensively spread Covid-19.
He added that breeding grounds are places that are loud where people have to ‘shout to overcome the noise’.