Support our hospitality sector this Christmas | MP for Portsmouth North, Penny Mordaunt
Firstly, thank you. In such a densely-populated city we could have easily found ourselves in tier three.
The fact we aren’t is down to you social distancing, reducing risk and businesses having adapted fast to make themselves covid-secure.
In tier two many businesses can still operate, but one sector in particular has been really badly hit: hospitality, our pubs, cafes and restaurants. The restrictions we have all had to endure have been dreadful. Some have said the ‘cure’ is worse than the virus itself. But the restrictions are not a cure. They are to keep the most fundamental services running.
Parliament also needs a more regular and frequent role in renewing any restrictions so that we can continually be assured they are needed. As time goes on we will have more evidence of what restrictions are being effective in reducing infection, and which are not.
I want to thank all those businesses who have written to me to outline what interventions would be of most use. I have used that information to make the case to ministers for more help. At the time of writing this I am told these asks are actively under consideration and I am hopeful we may get some further support for the sector.
The huge sacrifices made by businesses across our city is appreciated, in particular, by the healthcare workers who know the fragility of the NHS at this perilous time. In the recent debate over public sector wage increases I have been really moved by the recognition from many public sector workers at what those in the private sector are facing.
There was never a doubt that we would beat this virus. Doing it swiftly and limiting damage in the meantime should be our twin goals. That means all of us following the health advice. It means, wherever we can, supporting local businesses, using cafes and pubs where we can and helping them do as well as possible in the run up to Christmas. Light is at the end of the tunnel thanks to the incredible work of our scientists. As we travel towards it, we must ensure that our economy is protected as much as possible.