HOSPITALITY bosses have demanded all pubs, restaurants and hotels are reopened from April, piling pressure on Boris Johnson to ease restrictions quickly.
Trade body UK Hospitality is urging an overhaul of the Covid tier system when lockdown is eased.
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Hospitality leaders have called for pubs, restaurants and hotels to be reopened from AprilCredit: Alamy
The sector’s demands have piled pressure on the PM ahead of Monday’s announcement on a roadmap out of lockdownCredit: Getty – Pool
In a document submitted to the PM, it called for all hospitality venues to have returned to normal by June, with Covid case rates continuing to tumble.
It says the industry, which employed 3.2 million people before the pandemic, lost an eye-watering £72 billion in 2020, its worst year ever.
It comes after industry leaders stormed out of a meeting with government ministers in a row over the PM’s roadmap.
Mr Johnson is set to reveal his full roadmap for lockdown easing on Monday – with restrictions set to be reviewed every few weeks.
He has said he will be guided by “data, not dates” when announcing our route out of lockdown.
The UK Hospitality document, seen by The Telegraph, says: ‘The tier system that was in place as the country entered lockdown is unviable for the sector and must be reformed ahead of reopening.”
Venues should be allowed to trade in all tiers except tier 4, the hospitality group said.
Currently, hospitality venues must close in tier 3 areas, with only deliveries and takeaways allowed.
Pubs and bars in tier 2 are also required to close unless they operate as restaurants and serve food as well as alcohol.
The number of people employed in the pandemic-ravaged hospitality industry has slumped by more than a third to two million, UK Hospitality claimed.
The Sun revealed last week that pubs and restaurants will be able to serve outdoors in April if Covid cases continue to fall.
Pubs are restaurants could serve alcohol outside by April if cases continue to dropCredit: Getty
Boris Johnson will reveal his roadmap out of lockdown on MondayCredit: AFP or licensors
Hospitality leaders have called for all parts of the sector, including hotels, to be reopened from AprilCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The reopening of hospitality is being fast-tracked in a major boost to the blighted sector — and thirsty Brits.
Hospitality had been earmarked to reopen in May, with only takeaway pints allowed in April.
But that has now been sped up in a major boost to the blighted sector.
A wider reopening for limited indoor mixing in pubs and restaurants is still planned for May.
But the “rule of six” limits and two-metre social distancing rules are likely to stay throughout summer
Mr Johnson is facing growing pressure over when to restart the hospitality industry.
Big pub chains — who have less to lose — are happy to wait a little longer until they can fully open.
They fear that if they are allowed to open outdoors before fully reopening inside, their support from the Treasury could be cut off.
Greg Mulholland, of the Campaign for Pubs, said: “Outdoor-only opening is simply not profitable for thousands of pubs, indeed most pubs, and Government support must continue until pubs can open profitably, without rules and restrictions that make that impossible.
“What we now need is certainty over when pubs can reopen indoors with household mixing and no curfew or restriction on dining.”
The Sun revealed tension boiled over earlier in the week when pub bosses stormed out of meetings with ministers when they were accused of leaking government roadmap plans.
Another 12,057 infections were recorded today, down from 13,494 last Thursday, as cases continue to sink.
Covid cases have dropped by two thirds since January, Britain’s biggest virus infection survey found.
The React study, by Imperial College London, carried out swab tests on 85,000 people across England between February 6 and 13, and found the R rate is down to 0.7, even as low as 0.6 in London.
Ministers have reportedly urged the PM to consider vaccine ‘passports’ Covid to social venues reopened.
A source told The Times: “We’re talking about industries that are dying here.
“In terms of getting live music, theatre and other parts of the entertainment industry back on their feet, it seems an obvious thing to do once the majority of people have been vaccinated.”
But a government source told the paper a vaccine passport system would be a “bureaucratic nightmare … like setting up the passport agency from scratch”.