Published on : Tuesday, July 6, 2021
UKHospitality recently called for the government to “immediately review and amend” its test and trace guidelines on self-isolation. The body argues the current rules are proving “massively disruptive” for hospitality businesses across the UK and leading to venue closures and reduced operating hours.
The current system forces already struggling hospitality businesses to shut their doors, and can result in whole teams needing to self-isolate. The trade body also warned of the damage that any similar approach would wreak on wider society, triggering mass isolations.
Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive, said for some weeks the organisation have been telling government about the severe staff shortages at venues, compounded massively by the absence of staff members who have been told to isolate despite not having shared shifts with colleagues who tested positive.
She mentioned that urgent clarification of isolation policy is needed to reflect the enormous success of the vaccine roll out and hence the Cabinet Office should amend the current isolation policy as soon as possible and certainly ahead of July 19, to address the challenges of the current system.
She stated that a sensible and pragmatic approach would be to extend the ‘test to remain’ system for vaccinated staff to hospitality as that would avoid businesses being forced to close, losing thousands of pounds of revenue at a time when cash reserves are low or non-existent following 16 months of closure and punitive trading restrictions.
She further added that if the system remains as it is, there’s a threat of mass isolations, which would hugely damage trade, putting many companies at risk of failure. She shared that hospitality is eager to trade its way back to prosperity, so ideally the government should act to ensure that vast swathes of the population are not unnecessarily confined to their homes due to rules formulated before the successful vaccine roll out.