Created by a group of hospitality professionals from across England and Wales, the #CANCELTHECURFEW campaign will attempt to raise awareness amongst consumers of the impact that the policy is having on their industry; in hope that they will join them in pressuring the government to make a U-turn on the policy.
"The industry that we love is in grave danger of being suffocated by this curfew,” says campaign co-creator Tom Lord, founder of Hospitality Gin.
“Some venues were starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel before it was announced as customers returned and we all settled into ‘the new normal’. Now we’ve been plunged back into uncertainty.
“We want the British public to know the impact that the curfew is going to have, not just on our businesses, but on our friends and colleagues. We have borne the brunt of the measures announced over the past fortnight.
“We are vilified as breeding grounds for the virus, yet Public Health England’s own figures show this is not true. In fact, the latest figures show that we have one of the lowest infection rates outside of the home.
“Hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs as a direct result of this disastrous policy, thousands of businesses will close their doors forever, and the hospitality industry will never be the same again. Stop blaming hospitality, let us serve”
Some venues are reporting a drop in revenue of over 60% since the curfew was imposed with projections that it will cost the hospitality sector in central London alone £5.5mn per day. Yet latest figures from Public Health England show that only 3% of transmissions outside of the home are from the hospitality sector.
The movement starts this week by asking hospitality leaders, operators, employees, and anyone with a love for the hospitality industry to share the #CANCELTHECURFEW images on their social media platforms.
There will then be a silent protest and social media ‘thunderclap’ at 10pm on Saturday 3 October with venues and workers all over the country being encouraged to stand outside their venues and post images of this across social media.
“With neither evidence to support the assumption that hospitality is driving infection – only 35 cases reported in the sector and as of yet no sign of the threatened dramatic upturn in deaths, the move to curtail the operational hours of our already crippled industry seems unjust and punitive, not to mention illogical and irrational,” says Michael Greenhow of bar group Mojo.
“Are people more infectious after 10pm? Hospitality has slaved to work responsibly within the constraints laid out for us and now we are being thrown aside with scant concern for the impact these measures will have on our businesses and the wider economy"”
Mojo, which has venues in Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Liverpool and Harrogate, has announced on Twitter that it will not serve any members of parliament until the Government provides the hospitality industry with’ viable financial support’ and has urged pubs and restaurants across the country to follow suit.