Pubs and restaurants will “bear the brunt” of new Covid restrictions that come into force when the national lockdown ends next Thursday, it has been reported.
Prime minister Boris Johnson will address the nation in a televised speech this evening, where he is expected to outline a stricter tiered system from 3 December.
A report in the Daily Telegraph suggests the 10pm curfew will be changed to 11pm, but hospitality businesses will face far greater restrictions so that shops, cinemas and gyms can reopen.
If accurate, hospitality businesses in Tier 3 will only be allowed to offer takeaways, while those in Tier 2 will only be allowed to serve alcohol with “substantial meals”.
The news has been met with anger and despair among hospitality leaders on social media this morning.
UK Hospitality boss Kate Nicholls said that pubs and restaurants were “paying the price” of tougher tier restrictions and branded it “totally unacceptable”.
Alex Reilley, chairman of restaurant group Loungers, tweeted: “So Tier 3 is lockdown and Tier 2 is basically old Tier 3 – but all of this is ONLY for hospitality. This is going to kill a lot of hospitality businesses off and it’s clear the government are now prepared to cut the hospitality sector adrift. Merry f*cking Christmas!”
David McDowell, group COO at BrewDog, hit out at the way the news broke and said many operators would not survive tougher measures.
He tweeted: “Yet again, a sector which employs over 3m people in this country (and over a million in its supply chain), finds out about it’s fate on Twitter. Our industry will be in blind panic tonight. Thousands of businesses, of all shapes and sizes, won’t survive these restrictions.”