Fuming bar owner slams Boris’ messaging and says ‘no one parties in January’

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A bar owner has hit out at Boris Johnson over the 'parties are on' message in the news on Boxing Day.

Even without new Covid restrictions in England forcing venues to shut, Paul Kemp said it ‘doesn’t matter’ because ‘people do not party in January’ and most of the period for partying has passed.

Paul, the owner of Bristol's Beerd bar and restaurant, told BBC Breakfast: “We have lost a large chunk of our trading period due to the messaging from the government.

"We might have one big hurra in New Year's Eve but a lot of people are on tenterhooks… the rules change every time we get an announcement about any kind of guidance.”

He added: "It hardly touched the side and even a small business like this, we've lost at least five-six thousand pounds in refunded sales to people who've cancelled parties."

Despite Rushi Sunak's £1.3bn lifeline for leisure and hospitality businesses hit by omicron, Paul believes that it's still not enough.

He pointed out that the loss in sales is also due to people who have changed their minds about going out.

This time of year is an important time for bars and restaurants as they would normally be filled would different groups of people, he argued.

Even though he is 'delighted' the hospitality sector in England is still open and the previous rule-of-six and mask-wearing restrictions have not been imposed, he said none of those things matter now because the festive period has 'all gone'.

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Daily Covid cases were not published over Christmas, but Boris was briefed with the latest data today.

Although Scotland and Northern Ireland have made the rules stricter for a second day – including a return to table service only and social distancing in more settings – it is expected that England’s rules will remain unchanged.

However, the language around the advice is set to be more stern and top ministers have promised to keep analysing the statistics and health advice.

  • Boris Johnson
  • Christmas

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