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Stand-Up Drinking Delay ‘Nonsensical’

Simon Soar has called the government's approach 'non-sensical'.

The head of the Jersey Hospitality Association has called the decision to delay the return of drinking while standing 'nonsensical'.

It was due to be allowed again from 10 May, but the government pushed it back to 14 June.

People can only drink in bars and restaurants when sitting at tables and Simon Soar says this is one reason why the industry is on its knees.

"Businesses in the hospitality industry have not been able to trade properly for over a year and even with some of the recent relaxation of the rules, they are not making any money. I fear for the mental health of business owners and their hard-working staff who are facing losing their jobs and livelihoods as these restrictions continue.

"Stand-up drinking would allow many of these businesses to start making money again and the decision to delay it is a serious threat to their future. There is also no mention of a review of mask-wearing indoors. We have two known active cases of Covid-19 and one of the best testing and track and trace systems for arriving passengers in the world. I cannot understand why the government is taking this nonsensical approach."

Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf says it's been decided, following advice from STAC, that it should be delayed - given that other restrictions  - such as allowing larger gatherings - were introduced earlier than first planned.

Sean Murphy, who runs The Lamplighter, questions the logic behind the decision, with other hospitality owners previously calling for stand-up drinking to be brought forward rather than pushed back.

Bars and restaurants can operate at normal opening hours again from tomorrow, Friday 30 April.

The government also announced that up to 50 people will be able to go to a wedding reception in a private garden from 10 May and clarified that the 50-person limit does not apply in the garden or private outdoor space is available for hire.

Jersey Kitchen owner Tony Sargeant has criticised the government for not making this information clearer.

So it would appear that our Government have been giving out completely incorrect information leading to heartache and...

Posted by Jersey Kitchen on Wednesday, 28 April 2021

A government spokesperson said earlier this week that parties or gatherings in people's homes 'bring particular risks because the environment is not generally subject to the same cleaning regimes as commercial venues.'

Mr. Soar wrote to Ministers last week to try and clarify the situation and says he did not receive a response.

"I thought we had a good working relationship with the Government and, up until now, our lines of communication worked well. The only response I have had to my email was an acknowledgement it had been received. That is simply not good enough when we were trying to get Ministers and officials to understand a mistake had been made. The statement made by the Government is very disappointing. It is narrow-minded and not factual.

"It doesn’t cover the actual situation faced by events companies who work extremely hard with couples to put on safe and compliant receptions and parties. There are proper processes for putting in place risk assessments which already exist for all venues. All the Government has done so far is backtrack rather than acknowledge they were wrong."

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