Pubs and restaurants being 'unfairly targeted' say campaigners as businesses demand financial support
Real ale champions CAMRA have urged the Government to produce the evidence that has led to pubs and restaurants being "unfairly targeted" with new restrictions,
And Lancashire business chiefs have called for a "clear road map" for the new restrictions announced by Boris Johnson that may be in force for six months.
Moves include a 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants, a requirement for shop staff to wear masks, and advice to work from home where you can.
CAMRA Chief Executive Tom Stainer said:"Pub-goers and publicans alike want to stop the spread of COVID-19, but this curfew is an arbitrary restriction that unfairly targets the hospitality sector and will have a devastating impact on pubs, jobs and local communities.
"For the third time in a week, CAMRA is calling for the Government to publish the evidence that pubs or restaurants are the source of more transmissions than other sectors across the country – if they aren’t, then why are they being singled out for nationwide restrictions?
"This is punishing the thousands of responsible publicans across England who are providing a COVID-secure environment for their communities, while already operating at greatly reduced levels in their efforts to keep their customers safe."
Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “We as a business community completely understand and accept that further restrictions are absolutely essential to bring these conditions under control.
“Businesses are playing their part and will continue to do so in tackling this pandemic and the overwhelming majority are doing all they can in keeping their customers, the general public and employees their safe
"What Businesses need now is to see a clear road map for the existing restrictions and those that may be introduced in the future.
"This must include transparent trigger points, and clarity about the support available to protect jobs and livelihoods.
Federation of Small Businesses North West Regional Chairman Chris Manka, said: “We’ve already suffered from six months of disruption linked to this virus, and small businesses and the self-employed will be dismayed at facing another six months of restrictions.
“As we’re hit by a second phase of COVID-19, it’s paramount that the Government urgently steps forward with an ambitious second round of support measures to help firms survive. The job retention scheme is ending in six weeks and the deadline for bounce back loan applications is rapidly approaching.
“Many businesses – particularly those at the heart of our night time economy and events industries – are now seriously fearing for their futures.
"Having lost the summer, a lot of them would’ve been pinning their hopes to increased trade in the run-up to Christmas. Their plans are now in disarray."