Leaders from the hospitality industry have launched a #CanceltheCurfew campaign, calling on the Government to end the 10pm closing time.
The campaign comes after fears the industry is at risk of collapse, with venues reporting a fall in revenue of over 60% following the curfew’s implementation.
Many are struggling to understand the new measures after Public Health England reported the hospitality industry is only responsible for 3% of new coronavirus infections.
Tom Lord, co-creator of #CanceltheCurfew, said: “We are vilified as breeding grounds for the virus, yet Public Health England’s own figures show this is not true.”
After months of closure, bars and restaurants have already been greatly impacted, spending thousands of pounds training staff and ensuring venues are covid-secure.
Martin Greenhow, owner of MOJO’s Manchester, said: “The curfew has reduced trading to about 20% of our pre-covid numbers.
“If we’re safe before ten, we’re safe after ten. I wholeheartedly believe that we’ve done an incredible job at creating a safe and secure place for socialising.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester has called for an “urgent review” of the curfew following its implementation less than a week ago.
He said: “The curfew is probably doing more harm than good in that it’s creating a major incentive for people to carry on drinking and partying at home.”
Sacha Lord, night time economy advisor for Greater Manchester said: “It is very clear, across the UK, that this ill-thought-out curfew has pushed everyone out of venues with socially distanced measures, into the streets.”
Not only do industry experts fear mass redundancies and closure following a significant drop in revenue, t hey also believe there is a public health risk as streets are filled with people after pubs close.
Hospitality is the fifth biggest industry in the UK, and represents nearly 8% of total employment.
Kate Nichols, UK Hospitality chief executive said: “Where such restrictions have been put in place locally they have not cut infection rates, merely damaged businesses and cost jobs.”
There has been an outcry on social media, and the councils of Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool asking for the curfew to be reviewed.
The curfew is predicted to cost the hospitality industry in central London alone £5.5m per day.
As hospitality companies enter their final month of furlough, it is feared the cost of the curfew will be too much for many in the industry.
Mr Greenhow continued: “Either the Government finds a way to support us in a realistic manner or we’re going to see an industry of three million plus people decimated.”
#CanceltheCurfew hopes to put pressure on the Government to U-turn the curfew to stop the negative impacts of the virus on the hospitality sector.