"There's no sense in it": London hospitality businesses react to new COVID-19 Tier 2 restrictions
This weekend London is set to enter Tier 2 of COVID-19 restrictions as outlined by the government.
From Saturday, Londoners will be unable to mix with other households indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.
Leaders and key figures from hospitality businesses across the capital have responded to the news.
Greg Marchand, chef patron of Frenchie Covent Garden & Frenchie Paris
“We’re now being told that we can stay open but households can’t mix so in other words, we’re once again expected to survive, be viable and look after our staff at the same time but with no support from the government.
“How are we supposed to do that? These new measures will have a disastrous impact on our business!
“We’ve already made sure we’re operating as safely as possible and we have followed the government’s advice. Now, we’re expecting the government to show its commitment and support to our industry as many livelihoods depend on it.”
James Cochran, 12:51 in Islington
“We’ve gone from having a fully booked Saturday lunch and being very busy to already having 40 per cent of future bookings cancelled.
“The tier system is worse than in lockdown. Consumers and business had clarity. Right now, the government again is shirking their responsibility and instead, consumer confidence plummets and we face cancellations.”
Rahul Khanna, co-founder of Pali Hill in Fitzrovia
“Restaurants and bars are how cities connect and meet. Especially a city like London. I don’t understand the banning the mixing of households in a safe setting that have followed rules and invested to make their premises covid-safe, including the government sanctioned Track and Trace.
“In a time where social meetings are already so limited, the joy of seeing a friend and breaking bread are some of the only pleasures we have afforded to us and one that we were glad to be able to facilitate.
“This ruling shows that the government has little understanding of how restaurants have been operating, or what they are offering to the public, if they think this is something that will truly control Covid-19 infection rates.”
Brodie Meah, Top Cuvee in Blackstock Road
“We have already seen a drop on larger tables which shows people are really taking it seriously.
“It’s hard to know how we can enforce it – do we need to start asking guests to bring in date utility bills? Best we can do for now is maximise on availability on tables of two.”
Stuart Procter, COO of The Stafford Collection
“The most worrying part of this for me is furlough coming to an end. The industry needs an extended furlough if we are to survive as we’re being hung out to dry across the country.
“We were just starting to claw it back after being closed for so long and now it seems we’re right back to square one again.”
Kate Frobisher, Urban Pantry in Chiswick
“As a brunch cafe we’ve been largely unaffected by the curfew and other restrictions, meaning we thankfully have kept our whole team in employment.
“But with the new tier 2 restrictions and people not being able to meet others from outside their household, I’m expecting to be operating at about 50 per cent capacity, which is unsustainable and brings us back to the brink of the earlier lockdown.
“The ridiculous thing is that you’re not allowed to sit a table with friends but you are allowed to sit in a small restaurant with heaps of other people from multiple households, there’s no sense in it…”
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