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Tier 2 workers in ‘HospoDemo’ show of defiance

Hundreds of protesting hospitality staff call for struggling businesses to get more assistance

27 October, 2020 — By Tom Foot

There are fears government measures to contain Covid-19 will lead to the ‘demise’ of hundreds of businesses in Westminster

HUNDREDS of workers in hospitality protested outside parliament after tier 2 restrictions triggered a string of cancellations.

Chefs Jason Atherton, Tom Aikens and Yotam Ottolenghi were at the “HospoDemo” last Monday that warned the current Covid-19 measures will lead to the “demise” of hundreds of businesses in Westminster.

Protesters registered before the peaceful demonstration to bring pans, labels, cocktail shakers and to wear uniforms – “especially chefs’ whites”.

Placard messages inc­luded “BoJo we need dough” and “if you think this is a crowd you should see the tube at 10.02pm”, referring to the overcrowding on the transport system after the 10pm curfew.

HospoDemo founder and industry marketer Rachel Harty said: “To see so many from our industry come together on Parliament Square was extremely powerful.

“We’ve been dealt some heavy blows over the past six months and we are looking at a bleak future if the government does not revise its policies relating to the hospitality industry.

“Without enhanced financial support and additional government contributions to the Job Support Scheme we are going to see many businesses fall by the wayside.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for the government to scrap the 10pm curfew.

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “It’s been horrendous, it has decimated the sector.
“We are going to see some catastrophic results in terms of businesses deciding to close. It’s so short-sighted; people are trying to stay open and survive but the tier 2 mechanism means a pretty much a systematic closure of the sector. But insurance isn’t triggered bec­ause businesses are not being told by the government to close.”

The founder of G-A-Y night club Jeremy Joseph has launched legal action against the government over the “unfair” targeting of the bars, clubs and restaurants with the curfew, asking: “Where is the science?”

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