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New data from global intelligence platform Streetbees found that 71% of the British public feel that pubs, bars and restaurants have been more harshly treated than other areas of the economy during the ongoing pandemic – with just 14% disagreeing and 14% unsure.

This comes after The Morning Advertiser’s (MA)​ social media followers took to social media to share their experiences of operating under the Government’s more stringent Covid alert system since 2 December – with comments outlining a mentally drained, joyless and heartbroken trade. ​ 

What’s more, it follows the release of coronavirus infection rate analysis​ given to the Dutch Government and then leaked to the press which claimed opening hospitality venues will decrease and not increase coronavirus infection rates.

On top of this, almost two thirds (64%) of those quizzed claimed that the new tier restrictions have discouraged them from making plans at a pub or bar this Christmas – though around a quarter (26%) say it hasn’t had any impact. 

Yet, while Streetbees found that just 3% of Brits have been to a pub under new tier system and decided they won’t be going back and that 28% haven’t and don’t plan to visit their local this Christmas, a quarter (23%) of respondents have been and plan to go again, while a further 25% haven’t but plan to. 

Roughly one-in-five (21%) of those asked live in areas where pubs aren’t open.

‘Substantial meals’ hard to swallow

On top of this, Streetbees also found that Brits are divided on the exact definition of a “substantial meal” – with around one-in-twenty (7%) admitting they have “no idea” what the term constitutes.

While those believing a “substantial meal” essentially means a main course make up the largest portion of those quizzed (66%) a 16% slice believes it refers to a meal with multiple courses, 8% think the term applies to bar snacks with the remaining respondents seeing it as anything that requires table service (23%) or cutlery (22%).

As previously reported by The MA​, “substantial meals” are defined as “a full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal” in the Government’s Covid-19 Winter Plan.

However, the already vague notion has been further blurred by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick defining a substantial meal as something that “you would expect to have as a midday meal or an evening meal” while Environment Secretary George Eustice argued that a Scotch egg “probably would count” if there were table service.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has also cooked up their own definition, stating: “It would be difficult to argue that a single sausage roll or a snack pork pie constitutes a main meal, whereas if it was served plated with accompaniments such as vegetables, salad, potatoes, it could be considered substantial.”

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