The Covid war on pubs is based on the flimsiest of evidence

by Christopher Snowdon, CapX

  • 25,000 hospitality venues have closed permanently this year and 30,000 have yet to reopen
  • Have any members of SAGE been to a pub since July?
  • This unscientific, vindictive pubs policy will destroy businesses for absolutely no reason

The new tier system will close or severely incapacitate pubs in the 99% of the country that will be in Tiers 2 and 3. This amounts to carpet bombing the pub trade. Some 25,000 hospitality venues have closed permanently this year and 30,000 have yet to reopen. Although grants are available to businesses that are rendered temporarily unviable by the tier restrictions, these often fall short of what is needed to pay rent, debt, taxes and other costs.

Since the hospitality industry is Britain’s third biggest employer, with 3.2 million workers before the pandemic hit, you might expect the Government’s evidence to be strong. It is anything but. On Friday, the Government published a short policy paper titled ‘Transmission risk in the hospitality sector’ which ignores all the counter-measures introduced to make hospitality venues low-risk, and relies on a handful of studies cobbled together by SAGE which have no relevance to the British pub trade as it currently operates.

Citing SAGE, the policy paper correctly notes that “higher risk contacts are those that are close, prolonged, indoors, face-to-face, in poorly ventilated and/or crowded spaces, or involve ‘loud’ activities”. It then claims that these risk factors are “all prevalent in the hospitality sector”.

Have any members of SAGE been to a pub since July? …………….. Continue reading >>>

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