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Hospitality Workers Will Protest Against Coronavirus Restrictions

With a demonstration at Parliament Square on Monday 19 October

Musicians demonstrate at London’s Parliament Square against COVID-19 restrictions
Musicians recently did a similar demonstration in Parliament Square
Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

An apparently socially distanced and masked protest at Parliament Square will see hospitality workers protest against the 10 p.m. curfew on restaurants, pubs, and bars and the lack of job support attached to new local restrictions.. On Monday 19 October, workers will travel to Westminster carrying “the tools of their trade,” before “making a racket” in the famous protest site at 12 p.m.

Organiser Rachel Harty says the protest is against the lack of scientific evidence behind current hospitality-specific restrictions:

The blows that have been dealt to the UK hospitality industry over the last six months have caused a great deal of frustration and hardship. Hospitality outlets have responded by investing heavily in safety measures to enable staff to return to work, and to get customers through the door. However, the recent introduction of the curfew and increasing local lockdowns have created an existential threat to large proportion of hospitality businesses.

The demonstration comes as London prepares to enter tier 2 coronavirus restrictions from Saturday, which prevent households from mixing inside hospitality premises. Businesses in tier 2 are not able to claim enhanced government support, because they are not forced to close, and the fear is that this will lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs made no longer viable by the new restrictions.