UK

Figures reveal hospitality industry accounts for just 3% of cases despite damaging restrictions

Hospitality industry is facing ‘hugely damaging’ Covid-19 restrictions… but figures reveal it accounts for just 3% of cases

  • Figures show that just 128 of 4,687 outbreaks across England linked to bars
  • Industry leaders said measures against hospitality businesses ‘extremely poor’
  • Government made no reference to £500m measures to make pubs secure

Hospitality venues facing ‘hugely damaging’ restrictions accounted for less than 3 per cent of coronavirus outbreaks in the month before the second lockdown – with one region reporting just a single incident.

Public Health England figures show that just 128 of 4,687 (2.7 per cent) outbreaks across England in the four weeks to the end of October were linked to bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants. 

Last night, furious industry leaders said the figures showed that the evidence for punitive measures against hospitality businesses was ‘extremely poor and incredibly thin’.

Public Health England (PHE) data shows the majority of Covid-19 clusters over October were occurring in care homes (25 per cent), schools and colleges (25 per cent) and at people’s work places (24 per cent).

Even hospitals (5.6 per cent) were seeing more outbreaks of the disease than the hospitality sector, despite stringent testing of NHS staff and patients. 

Hospitality venues facing ‘hugely damaging’ restrictions accounted for less than 3 per cent of coronavirus outbreaks in the month before the second lockdown (stock image) 

One pub industry boss said: ‘They have lost all credibility. 

‘The evidence clearly demonstrates the hospitality industry is not a factor in the spread of the disease. PHE’s own analysis backs this up.’

Separately, a government paper published at the end of November justifying hospitality restrictions referred to studies in South-East Asia, but made no assessment of the £500 million measures implemented by British venues to make themselves Covid-secure. 

British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said: ‘This so-called evidence is extremely poor and incredibly thin. 

‘Comparing British pubs with South Korean nightclubs is ridiculous.’

Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller’s, said: ‘The Government has decided to sacrifice the hospitality sector to allow other sectors to open with no scientific justification.’

Public Health England figures show that just 128 of 4,687 outbreaks across England in the four weeks to the end of October were linked to bars (stock image)

Public Health England figures show that just 128 of 4,687 outbreaks across England in the four weeks to the end of October were linked to bars (stock image) 

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