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Thu, 29 October 2020

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Pubs, Restaurants And Cafes Account For One Fifth Of Covid Transmissions, Jonathan Van-Tam Has Told MPs

Pubs, Restaurants And Cafes Account For One Fifth Of Covid Transmissions, Jonathan Van-Tam Has Told MPs
2 min read

Pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues account for around 20 percent of all Covid transmissions, according to the government's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam.

In a call with around 90 MPs and peers this morning he told them pubs alone count for nine percent of transmissions of the virus, but when it is added into all hospitality venues it pushes it "well beyond 20 percent".

One MP on the call said the data they were shown suggests that more than 1,500 plus cases per day are being aquired through hospitality venues, which is more than in educational settings. 

Their briefing with Van-Tam - part of a cross-party discussion on epidemiology - comes after MPs and peers said they wanted to see the science behind the latest restrictions, which include a 10pm closing time for pubs and table service only. 

Head of of the NHS Test and Trace programme Dido Harding has been asked to provide the science behind the latest restrictions by MPs, and it follows uproar from the hospitality sector on what the shorter hours and table service will mean for businesses that are already struggling.

One MP said that after hearing the figures they felt the government's response is justified, "if the measures are going to make a meaningful difference". 

"The question is obviously whether the new measures will significantly reduce the number of infections," they said.

Last night (Thursday September 24) the government's new measure of pubs shutting at 10pm began, with revellers filmed leaving venues and pouring onto the London Underground at the same time. 

It comes as London has gone on a national Covid-19 watchlist.

In a statement from London Councils this morning they said there are no additional measures at this stage and the city's testing capacity has recently been boosted. 

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