UK Hospitality Workers Protest against COVID-19 Restrictions (+Video)
- October, 20, 2020 - 12:18
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Hundreds of hospitality workers gathered in Parliament Square, central London, to protest against tougher coronavirus restrictions and urge the government to provide more financial support for the industry.
Hospitality sector workers and business owners in the UK staged the protest to demand a review of the government’s “arbitrary” COVID-19 restrictions and secure more support for their businesses, RT reported.
The crowd of demonstrators gathered at Parliament Square in London on Monday morning to voice their discontent over the restrictions Boris Johnson’s government has imposed on the industry in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The UK has once again been struggling to contain the outbreak in recent weeks, and was already hit hard by COVID-19 in the spring.
Chefs, waiters, waitresses, pub owners and caterers banged kitchen utensils for about half an hour in an attempt to make MPs hear their pleas. The rally participants also held placards and banners that read: “Save hospitality” and “Let us serve cake.”
Other messages were apparently designed to show that the sector is not the root of the problem when it comes to combating the disease. “If you think this is a crowd... you should see the tube at 10:02pm,” one placard read. Another said: “We can do our jobs safely. Can you do yours properly?”
The protesters soon received support from London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who said that “our bars, restaurants and other venues must now get the extra financial support they need urgently to stay afloat.”
The rally comes as UKHospitality, a trade union association representing the sector, warned that over 750,000 jobs could be lost in the coming months due to the curbs put on the work of hospitality venues.
The UK government previously introduced a three-tier system of local lockdowns, combined with stricter rules on mask-wearing and large gatherings, as well as additional measures like a curfew on pubs and other hospitality venues, requiring them to shut down at 10:00pm.
The measures were taken in response to a dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the UK since September. The cumulative number of cases in the country has since grown to over 740,000 as of October 18, according to government data.