The policy paper, which was published last week (27 November), titled ‘Transmission risk in the hospitality sector’ claims there are four types of evidence currently available to understand where transmission is occurring including examples from studies in other countries.
It adds while each type has limitations, “they are consistent in supporting the view that hospitality venues are a significant risk for transmission”.
One point is a combination of environment and behavioural factors – higher risk contacts are in areas that are close, prolonged, indoors, face-to-face, in poorly ventilated and/or crowded spaces or involve “loud” activities.
The paper claimed these were prevalent in hospitality but not unique to it and the “disinhibitory effects of alcohol are likely to exacerbate difficulties with social distancing”.
It also pointed to analysis of the impact of tiers and national-level restrictions in the UK and overseas that claims it has only been possible to get the R number consistently below one in places where there have been substantial restrictions on hospitality.
The paper again points to overseas analysis of outbreaks in Japan, China, South Korea and Indonesia, which state their “largest superspreading events originated from pubs, clubs, restaurants, gyms and wedding venues”.
The fourth point looks at a report from America, which found those infected with coronavirus without known contact with a person who had confirmed Covid-19, case patients were 2.8 times more likely to report dining at a restaurant or 3.9 times more likely to repor going to a bar or coffee shop than were control participants.