Pubs, restaurants and cafes make up fifth of all coronavirus transmissions, health chief warns MPs

PUBS, restaurants and cafes make up a fifth of all coronavirus transmissions, a health chief has warned.

Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam told MPs that hospitality venues were responsible for 20 per cent of the Covid-19 spread.

It comes as one MP advised Londoners to stay away from pubs and restaurants this weekend after a spike in cases in the capital.

Sian Berry, Green Party co-leader and London Mayor candidate said: “The news today that Public Health England has added London to its list of areas of concern, using estimates from other data, shows what a crucial time this is, and how all our actions can make a difference.

“The 10pm closing time for bars and restaurants has already led to crowded scenes on public transport that worry me greatly.

"My strong advice to Londoners today is to avoid going out in the next few days unless you have to, and find other ways to see friends and family.

"If you have a choice to reduce exposure or put off risky activities, it could make all the difference."

In a call with around 90 peers and MPs this morning, Prof Van Tam said pubs alone count for nine per cent of transmissions.

Politics Home reported that one MP on the call suggested that more than 1,500 cases every day were being transmitted through hospitality venues.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that pubs and restaurants would have to adhere to a 10pm curfew and would have to be table service only.

As well as this the rule of six remains in place and the fine for not wearing a face mask when required has increased from £100 to £200.

The briefing with Prof Van Tam had been part of a cross-party talk on epidemiology.



MPs and peers said they wanted to understand the science behind the latest restrictions announced by the Prime Minister.

Dido Harding, head of the NHS Test and Trace programme has already been asked to clarify the restrictions.

Many MPs felt they were unjust as the economy continues to struggle with the coronavirus financial backlash.

The Prime Minister had previously urged people to go back to the office in order to boost local businesses around busy hubs.

One MP on the call said the restrictions would be “justified if they make a meaningful difference”.

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

As further restrictions were placed on the nation, some areas remain in local lockdown and are only able to have takeaway service.

Leeds, Blackpool, Stockport, Wigan, Cardiff and Swansea were all placed under local lockdown measures today after a surge in coronavirus infections.

The rules include a ban on households mixing.

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