With the constant changes in COVID-19 legislation, it’s hard to keep on top of the latest rules and measure how they affect us. As we move into a new chapter in the fight against COVID, what do the recent changes mean for hospitality?
At Certa Service, we hope that the latest adaptations announced by the government on 19th January will stimulate a much-needed recovery in the English hospitality industry and the UK economy as a whole. After a Christmas hampered by Plan B restrictions, the prospect of having a solid start to 2022 is a highly positive development. COVID-19 moving from a healthcare issue to a political one will probably work in our favour as an industry.
Another ‘new normal’
As we move from a pandemic to an endemic phase, it’s hoped that consumer confidence in indoor dining will gradually return to pre-2020 levels. It’s difficult to predict how quickly the public’s behaviour towards risk will change after two years of mixed messaging. We are all desperate for a sustained period of stability to calm the nerves so we can move on and have a prosperous 2022.
Are we seeing signs of recovery already?
One of the fundamental policy changes is the return to the workplace directive, and there is early evidence of an increase in commuting. Network Rail reported a rise in passengers on 19th January. Figures show that the number of people using its stations increased by 10% compared with the week before. That’s up from 275,000 to 303,000 people. A promising sign indeed.
Policy changes relevant to the hospitality industry
What will change
- Workers are no longer asked to work from home if they can.
- There is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering. (People are advised to wear one in crowded indoor spaces where they may contact people they do not usually meet).
- Venues and events are no longer required by law to check visitors NHS COVID Pass. However, they can still choose to use the NHS COVID Pass voluntarily.
Rules remaining in place
- Face coverings to remain mandatory on public transport in London despite the national end of restrictions