Hospitality workers fear a potential fourth lockdown as concerns over the new ‘Omicron’ variant continue to rise.
The restrictions implemented after a press conference on November 27 include the obligatory use of a face covering on public transport and shops.
Although hospitality is exempt from the use of masks for now, wonders of a potential fourth lockdown haunt hospitality workers as restaurants may not survive and collapse.
Edin Gonzic, 48, owner of Crazy Fish My Love said that: “A lockdown can go forever, if not this variant it could be another variant, so if they lock us down for this one then they will be waiting for another variant to lock us, and again and again. At one point you’ll just have to let the economy grow.”
The overall opinion of hospitality workers was that the country will not have the means to support going into another lockdown. The idea of going back to a furlough scheme, arises the idea of how the country will have unlimited money to support everyone.
The hopes stand that during the Christmas period people will be under the current restrictions.
The store manager at Five Guys Showcase, Stuart Hardman, 34, said: “The country has lost the faith in the government and its effectiveness, a new lockdown would mean a lot of protests and rebellion.
If they were to do it the timescale would be January, keep business running over Christmas and give people that freedom, that would be the only way.”
The mandatory wear of masks inside shops and public transports but still being able to go inside restaurants and nightclubs makes workers question the government’s intentions and decisions.
““Why put all these restrictions if you’re not even doing it all the way?”
Stuart Hardman, 34, STORE MANAGER AT FIVE GUYS SHOWCASE
The number of businesses who changed their face to face customer service to online during the previous lockdowns has taught workers that you have to keep up with changes if you want the business to survive.
Many services and shops have closed due to financial struggle, however some workers believe that it is all about adjusting.
Manager at No.Twelve restaurant, Jamie Irving, 26, said: “We’ve opened just before the first big lockdown so we learned ways that we can manage. As a worker I hated being at work, the uncertainty, is it gonna keep going on, are they gonna keep extending furlough.”
Other independent shop workers such as Ophelia King, 27 at the Studio Chocolate in Nottingham commented that: “It’s just how versatile companies can be with keeping up with changes, we were able to stay open because we went online.”
On the other hand, some people believe that another lockdown would be the end of business.
Being close for such a long time, paying rents and getting barely any sales money and just now after a few months going backwards again would be the government’s worst decision, either on finance or people’s mental health.
“People have a job and we can’t simply afford to take any more deaths. Being closed for a year and a half, paying rent for empty promises I don’t think anyone understands”
““You might not die from the virus but you might die from suicide by jumping out of a bridge because of being stuck in a house all day.”
edin gondzic, 48, owner of sexy pasta
Although the general opinion is that the country would not be able to support another lockdown, some people go even further in the restrictions.
The owner of the outside catering shop Dinner jackets traditional baked potatoes, Andrew Kemp, 62 said that: “the government’s main mistake throughout the whole pandemic was not shutting all the borders as soon as the pandemic started two year ago.
He added: “Shut all the airports! No more holidays, nobody coming in or out of the country and furlough the airline people, and fingers crossed cause we’re an island so we should be alright.”
There are no further indications that the country will go into another lockdown soon and the expectations for so vary from person to person and business to business.
There are many other steps to be done before a lockdown and the safety measures so far do not indicate that it will happen.
Therefore, hospitality workers have in mind such possibilities and are doing their best to follow the government rules and increase their sales as the future is unpredictable and not so good surprises might follow right after the Christmas period.