Top restaurateur Richard Caring savages ‘inexperienced’ government as he warns that 35% of the hospitality industry ‘will never return’ after being decimated by repeated lockdowns
- Mr Caring, who owns chains including The Ivy and Bill’s, has savaged the PM
- Restaurateur says that 35% of hospitality industry in Britain will never return
- Comes after Boris Johnson decreed brutal Tier 2 and 3 rules for 99% of England
- This government, Mr Caring says, ‘has turned both its inexperience and inefficiency against the hospitality industry of this country’
One of Britain’s top restaurateurs has savaged the government’s severe new tier system as a death sentence for the hospitality sector.
Richard Caring, who owns chains including The Ivy and Bill’s, believes that more than two thirds of his industry has been so mauled by lockdowns that it will never recover.
Mr Caring told MailOnline: ‘This government bounces off one wall onto another, its inexperience and inefficiencies are shown clearly in the manner they have handled this awful pandemic so far.
‘It has turned both its inexperience and inefficiency against the hospitality industry of this country.
‘Already what was the second largest industry in this country has been permanently decimated by at least 35%, never to return.’
Boris Johnson imposed brutal Tier 2 and 3 rules on 99% of England on Thursday, the higher category bans all hospitality business, while the other permits pubs to stay open only if they serve food.
Richard Caring, owner of restaurant chains including The Ivy and Bill’s, has torn the government to pieces over its ‘inexperience and inefficiency’ in dealing with Covid
A shuttered restaurant on the Strand in central London during the second national lockdown earlier this month
Mr Caring singled out as particularly vulnerable the cities of Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol ‘where the hospitality industry, hanging on by its finger nails, was hoping to be able to make some income in their most busy weeks of the year.’
The cities Mr Caring mentions have all been plunged into Tier 3, meaning that they will effectively transition into lockdown by another name on December 2.
The only pittance these desperate restaurants and bars can now rely on is through takeaway orders.
Mr Caring warned that ‘survival through January/February will be a nightmare as the first quarter of the year is always the toughest.’
‘For those unfortunate employees on furlough I dread to think how many hundreds of thousands are now effectively unemployed,’ he added.
The tier restrictions are anticipated to last until at least April and, according to a dossier from the Treasury watchdog, could run into the middle of next year.
Mr Caring asks: ‘Why is this country the one who’s economy will suffer the worst?
‘Why does this country have one of the worst COVID death per capita in the world?
‘As far as hospitality goes and the government’s present comprehension, the death now will only get louder.’
The British economy is staring down the barrel of its worst recession since the Great Frost of 1709 and is among the worst affected in Europe, along with France, Spain and Italy.
And despite battening down the hatches, Britain has one of the worst death tolls in the world (fifth by total) and per capita the countries are ranked as follows: Belgium, Peru, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
All but three places will be plunged into Tier Three or Two (shown in red and orange) when England’s national shutdown ends on Wednesday
As an example of the government’s ‘inexperience,’ Mr Caring highlighted the curfew rule, which still stands in Tiers 1 and 2 under the new system.
He said: ‘The ridiculous 10pm curfew did little more than destroy more of the industry while at the same time throwing tens of thousands of people together in uncontrolled masses.
‘The government continued with incompetence, even after they were informed (even by the scientists) that this was only going to serve to increase the spread of the virus, while at the same time further destroy an industry already on its knees.’
Under the allocations announced today, just 700,000 people – 1% of the population – will be subject to the loosest grade of restrictions. Before November 5 there were 29 million in the lowest tier.
Meanwhile, around 55 million residents will be in the toughest two levels after the blanket national lockdown ends on December 2.
It has sparked a huge backlash, with anger at the lack of clear thresholds for entering and leaving Tiers, and many local MPs in low-infection areas enraged at being lumped together with nearby hotspots.
The government has published a narrative explanation of why each area is going into each tier, but has dismissed calls to use numerical trigger points.
A slew of senior Tories have threatened to rebel in a crunch vote on the plans next week.
Boris Johnson tonight begged people to get on board with new Tiers insisting there is an ‘escape’ route for areas in the higher levels – only for medical chief Chris Whitty immediately to warn that Tier 1 is a vain hope
Although London and Liverpool were spared the harshest Tier 3, it will be brought in for huge swathes of the country including the bulk of the North, much of the Midlands, all of Kent, and Bristol – putting a wrecking ball through pubs, restaurants and clubs now forced to close except for takeaway.
Only Cornwall, Scilly and the Isle of Wight have been put into the loosest Tier 1, which allows socialising inside homes and pubs subject to the Rule of Six.
As a result most of England will be banned from mixing indoors with other households, apart from five days over Christmas. Pubs in Tier 2 will only be able to serve alcohol with ‘substantial’ meals.
Labour is unlikely to oppose the measures, meaning they will almost certainly go through – but a major mutiny would be another big blow to Mr Johnson’s authority.