Hospitality figures have reacted to the news that London is to be placed into tier 3 of coronavirus restrictions, with the decision set to have a devastating impact on all venues across the country.
From Wednesday at 00.01 GMT, pubs, hotels and restaurants in Greater London, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire will be forced to close and people residing in these areas told to only travel if essential.
This will undoubtedly have a knock-on effect to hotels, pubs and restaurants in other part of the country, regardless of tier, resulting in a ‘catastrophic Christmas’ for businesses, Robin Hutson, founder of The Pigs, said yesterday.
Taking to Twitter, Hutson tweeted: “So if London to Tier 3 today that’s 66% of our Xmas bookings cancelled across 8 hotels, it won’t just be the capital that suffers, every country hotel in UK face a catastrophic Xmas, food ordered, staff rota’d, hotels decorated.”
Danny Pecorelli, managing director at Exclusive Hotels replied saying that phones were already ringing with cancellations, despite none of his collection of hotels being within the tier 3 parameters.
Chef James Martin added on Twitter: “The knock on effect to all businesses this close to Christmas is both devastating in the city and out in rural areas as people booked for Christmas and New Year can’t travel….hospitality again, gets a kick in food ordered, staff rotated…what a nightmare.”
The new rules will mean that venues will only be able to offer takeaway or delivery only, and will miss out on the lucrative festive trading period, losing thousands of pounds in revenue as a result.
Tom Parker Bowles tweeted: “They’ve screwed Northern hospitality. The Midlands and Bristol too. Despite evidence that restaurants and pubs are responsible for a mere 2 % of cases. Now it’s London’s turn. With no justification at all. At the most important time of the year. Idiotic. Catastrophic. Devastating.”
Chef Marcus Wareing said hospitality was ‘screwed once again’ and said the way the government was handling the virus was a ‘pathetic mismanagement’.
Jane Pendlebury, the CEO of HOSPA, the Hospitality Professionals Association, said: “I was speaking with a London hotelier last week who was feeling confident, for the first time since the pandemic begin, that they were set for a period that would not only allow them to open, but would actually provide the opportunity to recoup some of their losses and help repair some of the damage of the last few months.
“Now though, they’re in despair. Stock has been purchased, almost a full complement of staff has been brought back in, full anti-COVID measures are in place and now it’s all for nothing. Not only that though, they’ve spent money that simply can’t be spared for a period that’s no longer going to happen. It’s genuinely heart-breaking to hear and see what’s happening.”
Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Advisor for Greater Manchester tweeted: “Every major news outlet reporting on London’s new restrictions. Leading voices now calling for financial support for hospitality. I absolutely agree, BUT this must be backdated to cover all regions who have already been suffering these restrictions for months.”