Robin Hutson writes to No.10 calling for ‘immediate exemption’ from curfew for hotel residents

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Robin Hutson, CEO at Home Grown Hotels, has written directly to the Prime Minister to ask for an ‘immediate exemption’ from the new 10pm curfew for hotel residents and small restaurants with less than 100 covers.

Hutson, who runs seven Pig Hotels and Limewood Hotel, took to Twitter following the announcement from the government that from Thursday, pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues need to close at 10pm, ‘giving a voice’ to small businesses who are struggling to survive.

He tweeted: “I have just written to No.10 asking for immediate exemption – hotel residents dining in hotel restaurants and small restaurants with less than 100 cvts. I know there are many others that need help but this is to give a voice to #ruralhospitality and small businesses. @UKHofficial”

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Yesterday Boris Johnson imposed further restrictions to help curb the rise in cases of coronavirus, including venues operating strictly via table service only, being forced to close at 10pm and the compulsory wearing of face masks for all staff in these businesses.  

Hutson also stressed that ‘well managed hospitality’ was not the problem and stressed that there had not been one outbreak of the virus at any of his hotels since reopening.

Another tweet read: Our 8 @ThePigHotel @Limewoodhotel hotels/restaurants/1000 staff/250,000 guests since reopening in July = millions of interactions without an issue. Well managed hospitality is not the problem.”

Others agreed with his point, including Joanne Taylor-Stagg, general manager at The Athenaeum in London, who responded saying: “You’re absolutely right @RobinHutson. We operated @TheAthenaeum throughout both lockdown, for residents and key workers, and beyond for all guests. Not 1 positive Covid case. Well operated hospitality can support the economy safely!”

Craig Bancroft, managing director at Northcote added: “Totally agree @RobinHutson well managed Hospitality has done a great job giving guests a well needed great experience as well retaining amazing dedicated Teams of committed Professionals.”

Confirming the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants in England starting from Thursday yesterday, Boris Johnson said that he was ‘sorry’ that the new measures will affect many businesses ‘just getting back on their feet’, but said ‘now was the time to act’ to ‘save lives, protect the NHS and shelter the economy’.

Johnson said: “We must act from the virus being transmitted in bars and restaurants. We will extend the requirement to wear face coverings to include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.

“In retail, leisure and tourism and other sectors, our Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach the rules.”

Weddings will also be limited further, with 30 guests reduced to 15 and indoor sports will no longer be allowed.

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Zoe Monk

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