Chef Tom Kerridge was a guest on last week’s Question Time and voiced his concerns that the hospitality sector could collapse amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr 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, Mr 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 we still need a lot more help.”
Meanwhile, scientist Mr Openshaw, who was appearing via video link, said that he would “feel comfortable” having a drink in a pub that was well-ventilated, admitting that such venues were “highly unlikely” to extensively spread Covid-19.
He added that breeding grounds were places that are loud and where people typically have to “shout to overcome the noise”.