Its report ‘Government transparency and accountability during Covid 19: The data underpinning decisions’ concluded the hospitality and leisure sectors had not seen the data underpinning these decisions. It concluded that the Government should make this available to justify the restrictions at each stage of the roadmap, “as a matter of urgency”.
After speaking to representatives from affected sectors in December last year, including Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the committee found the prevailing message was that the data underpinning decisions was not clear.
The evidence and the data that they have claimed or used to make these decisions has sometimes not even been there. It is more based on perception or a gut feel,” said McClarkin.
In the report McClarkin points to the £500m the pub sector has invested in making venues Covid secure, including staff wearing visors and face masks, hand sanitisation stations and the installation of Perspex screens.
“Table service has been introduced and it has made incredibly secure and safe areas to socialise in, and I think that needs to be recognised,” she said
“We are a safe, regulated environment to socialise in, as opposed to private households mixing, which we are seeing, where we know the transmission is going up.”
The report also states that the evidence received on the safety of hospitality venues and shops was ‘far from conclusive’. “Covid 19 reports that are published weekly, consistently show that hospitality is responsible for only 2 per cent of outbreaks,” said McClarkin, who added that the Government failed to consider newer research on issues like ventilation when considering indoor versus outdoor mixing.