Trade Organisations

BHA condemns PM’s ‘first to close, last to open’ policy

Bristol hoteliers are at odds with reports suggesting the prime minister intends for hospitality businesses to be among the last to open when lockdown restrictions ease

The Bristol Hoteliers Association (BHA) is coming out against the prime minister’s “first to close, last to open” post-lockdown policy for the hospitality industry.

The trade association, which represents hoteliers in Bristol, is “angry” with Boris Johnson over the possibility their businesses will be the last to reopen.

Johnson is set to unveil his “roadmap to recovery” next week (22 February) as he outlines the eventual relaxation of lockdown restrictions.

Earlier this week (17 February), the prime minister said: “You have to remember from last year that we opened up hospitality fully as one of the last things that we did because there is obviously an extra risk of transmission from hospitality.”

Raphael Herzog, the BHA’s chair, said: “For some time now, we have been asking for hotels to be treated fairly and equally to the likes of non-essential shops.

“We have all invested significantly in making sure our premises are as Covid-safe as they can possibly be.”

He added: “It’s safer to stay in a hotel having a drink at a table, with dinner served, than it is visiting a shopping mall or a grocery store. Yet we are being made to wait longer than most other sectors before we can return.”

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