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Gloucestershire Business News

Hospitality sector being 'made a scapegoat', says Tom Kerridge

Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge claims the hospitality industry is being made "a bit of a scapegoat" in its treatment by the Government during the pandemic.

Speaking to Sky News, the celebrity chef, who was brought up in Gloucester, said: "Each hospitality business in the industry operates very differently and that's why we find it very frustrating that it kind of gets blanket bans up and down the country.

"We have a huge amount of our yearly takings during December probably about 20% of turnover comes during that single month. To lose that is incredibly devastating. Those Christmas parties with people going out and celebrating, enjoying themselves more, it's much more than just business. 

"There's a social fabric that hospitality gives to people, to the wider society, that social connection that people gain. Hospitality isn't just a place where people eat and drink.

"It has a huge effect countrywide it's huge for everybody's mental health, for the outlook of the nation, the positivity, where we want to be.

"Don't get me wrong we thoroughly understand that there is a massive public health issue here. Coronavirus is devastating from a health point of view but from a business point of view hospitality has bent over backwards to create Covid safe environments for people to be in.

"According to Public Health England, pre lockdown anywhere between 2% and 5% of contractable cases have been through food and beverage operations. It does feel disproportionate the fact that we are getting closed where perhaps education is still moving where there appears to be a higher level of Coronavirus cases..

"We do need a lot more support coming into this industry and we do feel we're being pushed slightly into a corner and being made a little bit of a scapegoat."

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