Hospitality business share concerns over possible Covid "Plan B"

Margo's owner Karolyn Hubbard with the cake. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Margo's owner Karolyn Hubbard with the cake. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Two Great Yarmouth businesses have shared their thoughts about the potential for more Covid regulations.

On Tuesday, the prime minster announced a possible "Plan B" for Covid restrictions this winter.

Mr Johnson hailed the country's vaccine rollout, and said the government would continue with current measures such as hand-washing, ventilation and mask wearing.

Despite this he said the government would not rule out mandating measures such as vaccine passports and facemasks.

The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit throughout the pandemic and the potential of an increase in regulations make planning for the future more difficult.

Nick Mobbs in front of the Imperial Hotel

Nick Mobbs has said he is hoping there will be no need for Plan B. - Credit: James Weeds

Nick Mobbs, owner of The Imperial Hotel said: "There's been quite a lot of winter events booked for things that took place through the lockdowns - birthday parties and things like that.

"We're well booked for those occasions and I think everyone will be disappointed if the government says we can't do those things again.

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"If we have to go back to tables of six, wearing masks and one-ways systems in place, we can survive.

"But it's not ideal."

Karolyn Hubbard, owner of Margo's Lounge, said: "We have continued with spaced seating, mask and visor wearing inside the cafe.

"We have also kept our takeaway window open for those that still feel unsure about coming inside.

"The rule of six can easily be re-integrated, although larger groups who have booked ahead will need to be made aware of separate tables. 

"The only concern I have would be if we re-entered a full lockdown."

Margo's Lounge on Bells Road, Gorleston.

Margo's Lounge on Bells Road, Gorleston. - Credit: Google

The government's autumn and winter plan states that "more harmful economic and social restrictions would only be considered as a last resort”.

Contingency measures “should be sufficient to reverse a resurgence” but “the nature of the virus means it is not possible to give guarantees”.

The government's fall-back measures could include:

  • Communicating clearly and urgently to the public that the level of risk has increased, and with it the need to behave more cautiously.
  • Introducing mandatory vaccine-only Covid-pass use in settings including nightclubs; indoor venues with 500 or more attendees likely to be in close proximity to others, such as music concerts; outdoor settings with 4,000 or more people, such as festivals; and any settings with 10,000 or more people, such as sports events.
  • A legal requirement to wear face coverings in some settings.
  • Advice to work from home.

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