“Extremely frustrating” hospitality at back of the queue – Mahoney

Show us the data – that’s Brakes CEO Hugo Mahoney appeal to government following the announcement of the UK’s lockdown reopening plan.

The Brakes chief says that while he welcomes the restarting of schools on 8 March, the further delay to hospitality reopening until summer is “extremely frustrating”.

And he says the only way for the industry to fully accept the lack of movement is if government shared the data to explain why the hospitality industry is left to wait. If that isn’t possible, then Mahoney says a rethink of the timescales should be considered.

“We welcome the notice that the Prime Minister has given for the reopening of schools, which will allow wholesalers and their suppliers sufficient time to restock and be ready for what looks like a complete school remobilistion on 8 March,” said Mahoney. “We have also been working closely with the Welsh and Scottish administrations to reopen schools to their timetables.

“However, despite the positivity on the reduction in Covid transmission, vaccination successes and mass-testing kit availability, it is extremely frustrating that the hospitality industry continues to be at the back of the queue for full reopening.

“While we understand and fully support the need to ensure people’s safety and wellbeing and to protect the NHS, we urge HM Government to introduce a data-driven explanation for why hospitality isn’t yet reopening.

“Hospitality businesses, wholesalers and their suppliers across the country have invested heavily in creating appropriate working practices and customer environments that safeguard the health and wellbeing of both staff and customers. This successful self-regulation by a highly responsible industry needs to be recognised and supported.

“We call on government to review its decision not to reopen hospitality earlier, before irrevocable harm is done to businesses which are a vital part of the fabric of life in Britain, and the country’s third largest source of jobs.”

Brakes coronavirus covid-19 FWD hospitality Hugo Mahoney lockdown wholesaler