Pubs and bars have been the most compliant operations across the UK, meekly accepting closure, and then investing significant time and energy to ensure they were opening safely and in compliance with the rules the Government appears to be writing on the back of a fag packet.
Their reward? A slap in the face for being one of the safest areas for people to gather in the middle of the pandemic.
The stats make it perfectly clear, the virus is not spreading in hospitality. Week after week the figures underlined this point, but did anyone pay any attention? No.
And now, we emerge from the latest lockdown, with new restrictions and tiering, all geared towards making life difficult, if not impossible for pubs and bars to operate – meanwhile, other businesses are allowed to operate regardless and when the virus continues to spread, where will the finger point once again?
We need to recognise the reality of this situation – hospitality is a safe space. It is regulated, managed and monitored by responsible and reliable operators who are dying to get their businesses up and trading.
Wet-led pubs, those beating hearts of the communities they serve, are being disproportionately hammered by arbitrary Government decisions which smack of temperance and abstinence and fundamentally fail to recognise the bigger picture and the wider important role such pubs play in our communities.
Some have said the decisions this Government is making, is ripping the heart out of our industry, and its true that unless something is done to change the idiotic thinking at the heart of our political elite, we run the risk of losing an institution that is at the fabric of our society and recognised and envied around the world.
The Government needs to wake up, stop pointing the finger in the wrong places and let our trade get back to doing what it does best, helping people navigate through this horrendous pandemic.