The Prime Minister has indicated that the spread of the Delta variant of Covid is a matter of “serious, serious concern” and will use the intervening period to intensify the vaccine rollout.
Understandably, the delay is being viewed grimly by the country’s hospitality industry – and those businesses who were counting on the lifting of restrictions from June 21 in order to simply survive.
And it is a point that the Government will have to address after Mr Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May said travel was harder now, with vaccines in place, than last summer when they were not and that this is also harming tourism here.
After all, there does appear to be scope, following the successful staging of various trials, for a more nuanced response that enables rules to be relaxed for those outdoor events where the protocols have proven the risks to health to be negligible.
One such example is York Racecourse. As its capacity is restricted to 4,000 racegoers against a capacity of 45,000 on summer Saturdays, it is not in a position to open all of its facilities, like the spectator areas on the centre of the iconic track, which are perfect for social distancing.
It is also not alone in the wider hospitality and sports industry in expressing some frustration at how such a key sector is being neglected by Ministers, and a hope for some common sense to be applied if a better balance between public health and the economy is to be struck as Britain adapts to Covid’s ever changing challenges.
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