Despite the government’s stated intention to simplify strategies and tactics deployed to combat Covid-19, the UK continues to fragment geographically in measures that are different in each country.
England and Scotland have now added county and regional variations to the ‘mix’ of national measures. England’s three tiers system now applying to areas dependent upon and proportional to, how much push back regional government applies to central government.
Wales is closing its borders but unable to police such a move, instead relying on the goodwill in observance by the very undesirables from the other three nations it wants to keep out.
Bucking the trend, Northern Ireland have applied a full lockdown that applies to the whole country, achieving simplicity in both messaging and actions.
England meanwhile continues to create matrices that develop in complexity by the hour, the latest variant is on what a tier 3 lockdown actually equates to. In Liverpool, the first area to be placed in Tier 3, it includes the closure of gyms. Earlier today Lancashire ‘agreed’ to go into the tier 3 category, but only if gyms in the area remain open.
Manchester has a new peoples champion in Andy Burnham who is now leading a revolt to enable Manchester to remain in tier 2 lockdown, but at the same time is negotiating with central government on possible ‘terms’ of a transition to tier 3.
So, with the exception of Northern Ireland, depending on which country of the UK you are based in, which city, county or region of that country, who is in charge of your local government, and what leverage your local politicians have with central government… will depend on which rules and regulations apply to your hospitality business.
If you are a group with hospitality outlets across the UK things aren’t that simple. You will need to follow all UK, country, city, county and political variations of the rules at the same time. Rules are expected to change on a daily basis, so please keep up.
The lack of a cohesive UK strategy, and tactics to achieve that strategy is, the single largest failing of the current government. We have never faced anything like Covid-19 before and there is no magic wand, so some might say criticism is easy. But, without a plan and sticking to that plan, learning from mistakes already made, and adopting some humility and learning lessons from countries like Germany (The British Medical Journal published precise details of the German trace and trace system for all to read, including the government, back in June.) that have a track and trace system that works, we can only expect to see more of the same.
Efforts to avoid another full national lockdown are also pointless. The virus does not follow political lines, or have any susceptibility to stupidity. It is currently spreading at a pace that will see what the government feared in the early stage of the pandemic, the NHS being overwhelmed, and soon.
For the hospitality industry another full national lockdown would probably be better than the debacle currently requiring considered navigation. But that would depend wholly on further financial support from the government.
Financial support of people and businesses suffering as a consequence of a national disaster, is a fundamental requirement of any government and that includes No 10 Downing Street.
Boris needs to face the inevitable and act now to save hospitality.
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Hospitality & Catering News: Save hospitality Boris – 16 October 2020 – Save hospitality Boris
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