Hospitality industry to stage London protest over Coronavirus restrictions today

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality industry to stage London protest over Coronavirus restrictions today

Related tags Coronavirus lockdown London Restaurant

Hundreds of hospitality workers will converge on Parliament Square this morning (19 October) to peacefully protest the restrictions being imposed on businesses in the sector.

Organised by long-standing industry marketer Rachel Harty, HospoDemo demonstrators will urge the Government to rethink its policies relating to hospitality venues, both in terms of restrictions being placed on businesses and the level of industry-specific support available to help compensate them.

The protest will begin at 10:30am.

Demonstrators from all corners of the industry will come together to represent their trades, dressed in uniform, and equipped with pots, pans, ladles, cocktail shakers, wooden spoons and other hospitality-related props with which to make themselves heard.

Expected attendees include Jason Atherton, Tom Aikens and Jillian Maclean.

All attendees have been advised to adhere to social distancing measures and to come wearing a face covering.

“The blows that have been dealt to the UK hospitality industry over the last six months have caused a great deal of frustration and hardship," says Harty.

"Hospitality outlets have responded by investing heavily in safety measures to enable staff to return to work, and to encourage customers back through the door.

"However, the recent 10pm curfew and increasing local lockdowns have created an existential threat to a large proportion of hospitality businesses.

"The sector has already lost 25,000 premises since March, and it’s time for strong government action to prevent the loss of more businesses and jobs and protect a sector that is part of the fabric of this country.”

It comes after the Government decided to raise London's Coronavirus alert level last week from 'medium' to 'high'​, which means households across London are now barred from mixing in any indoor setting including pubs, restaurants and bars.

The move was met with anger, despair and exhaustion from restaurateurs​, who saw consumer confidence plummet and bookings collapse as a result of the new restrictions. 

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