The future of pubs, hotels and tourist attractions

As the lock down drags on, so the summer season will rush by. We need to ask what does the future hold for those who have invested their lives and savings in small hotels, B and Bs, pubs. clubs,  tourist shops and  attractions.

If the climate remains hostile to larger gatherings of people for July and August as well as May and June, the summer season will be badly damaged for these supporting businesses. In areas of great beauty or historical interest small businesses depend heavily on the summer income to see them through winters of low volumes or partial closures.  Visitor numbers are often driven by access to festivals, sporting events, great houses open to the public and magnificent scenery which is best in sunshine.

It is possible for many of these businesses to survive for the time being. They can put their staff on furlough. They can get some delay on taxes and rent. What they cannot do is go a whole year without the higher revenues of summer. They need a clearer picture of what July and August might bring, when government is cautious as it depends on success with limiting the spread of the disease.

It is also a question of what business  model can these enterprises come up with to be compliant in an age of social distancing. How realistic is it to run a restaurant with 2 metres between diners? Can screens be used instead? How do people get served drinks in a pub without a jostle at the bar? How many people can a small hotel or B and B handle whilst keeping people apart and keeping common areas free of virus from the occasional infected person who is unaware of their condition?

The long decline of the High Street will be accelerated by recent events. So might  we end up with fewer pubs and fewer tourist businesses. How long can a firm keep workers in furlough before there has to be revenue earning employment or redundancy?  

I would be interested to know how you would respond to some relaxation in these areas? Would you go to a pub or restaurant if they opened soon? What changes would you want them to make to handle the virus? Would you consider a week-end break or a holiday somewhere in England later this summer?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

265 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    This is a very important tourist industry, much under-rated. I am reminded of an excellent B&B I used to use that was run by the wife of a dairy farmer in Devon, they had 12 or so rooms, each beautifully prepared by a hard working mother and daughter. Without the income from the B&B business the dairy farm would also fail, only the combined businesses could support the family.

    Now, what of this ill-conceived, half-baked plan to lock-up returning Brits and now, according to the Empire’s HQ, anybody else visiting the UK, for 14 days? Surely this must be binned in short order?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Dear Peter–Not sure where the “surely” comes from–They are not doing this on a whim

    • BOF
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. Binned in short order.

    • Andy
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      That depends on how many people you want to die. If you are prepared for 15% or more of over 70s to catch it and die then you can open up tomorrow.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Like Sweden do you mean?

    • Hope
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      I was not alive, conceived or thought about during or after the world war II. Yet, I paid for the war, that my grandparents era fought, through my taxes when I started work until 31/12/2006 when the last cheque was paid by Ed Balls.

      The govt is placing the same tax burden on children not yet born or not old enough to understand the same sort of debt is now being made by a reckless economic decision the Tory Govt chose to make. Sunak (aka government) announced this week Furlough will be paid until October! Workers paid to stay at home. A large part will be a deferred redundancy scheme the left wing love.

      Tory govt increased national debt from £800 billion in 2010 to £1.8 trillion. It failed to balance the structural deficit it promised to achieve by 2015 and announced further wasteful spending on 11th March 2020 on HS2 and zero carbon nonsense by 2050! Not enough it decided that just under £20 billion a year must be wasted on overseas aid through EU and by itself! Money it does not have which has to borrowed and paid back with interest!

      Highest taxation in fifty years, highest knife and murder crime, highest immigration before the Tory govt embarked on its crazy science fiction national house arrest scheme.

      Tories wrecked the economy under Major, unemployment shot up, thousands lost their homes, businesses went bust- people worked all their life to build.

      The last ten years evidenced the Tory govt make austerity a feature of every day life to the ordinary taxpayer, highest taxation in fifty years, poor public services- health, education, policing, savings ravaged, taxation put on everything, last year Hammond increasing inheritance tax by calling it an additional administrative cost so not to be debated in Parliament!, all suffering to help Refinance banks that a few rich bankers collapsed through greed. Welcome to Tory Govt economics.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 4:08 am | Permalink

        Hope

        Very much agreed. One thing though. You left out the, ever increasing size of the State. More layers of bureaucracy through regional Mayors whilst the people want less. It is the bureaucracy and pointless regulation that is leeching away the life force of the economy. And the Tories cannot see it.

    • Stred
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      B and Bs could serve a hot breakfast under a cover in the bedroom. The room would have to be disinfected for each guest on arrival. Proprietors and staff could get the new test and if they have antibodies they would be in the clear.

  2. SM
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    I live in an area of SA which relies almost totally on tourism for its economy, but domestic flights have been closed down, all the hotels and B&Bs are closed, and the many restaurants and cafes have only recently been allowed to make and deliver take-aways. Since there is a total ban on alcohol (which provides much of a restaurant’s profit) these enterprises will barely tick over, and the small local population will not generate enough income to compensate in any way.

    What I have noticed locally is that previously law-abiding neighbours (and my own family) are now discretely breaking some of the severe lockdown regulations: odd-job men who would otherwise go hungry are being given gardening work, some cleaners are being allowed to return, there are small gatherings for a meal which will include at least one person who lives alone. My point is that you can only stop society working for a very limited period before it reverts to some form of normal custom.

    I suspect that many in the UK would happily avail themselves of local tourist facilities, particularly as travelling abroad is virtually impossible – and those who wish to self-isolate can be left to do so.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    It is claimed, endlessly by ministers, that the NHS has always had spare capacity and is coping just fine. If this is true we should surely get back to normal life as soon as possible. We cannot hide from the infection for ever.

    But is the NHS actually coping? Why have about half of the circa sixty thousand recent excess deaths happened without even getting to hospital? Have Covid patients in hospital actually been given little more than tea sympathy and an oxygen mask? Why on earth were covid patients kicked out to hospitals into care homes? Like foxes sent in to the hen house.

    Why has so much normal hospital activity been cancelled and what collateral damage has this done?

    • zorro
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Has the penny dropped yet….?

      zorro

  4. oldtimer
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    I would like to avail myself of the newly approved antibody test asap to discover if my wife and I have been infected by C-19 without realising it. If so I would have no qualms about travelling anywhere in England. I would like to go to mid Wales and to Scotland too but that, it appears, risks arrest.

    When they put their minds to it I have no doubt pubs and restaurants will find ways and means to serve customers, albeit at reduced capacity. There could be delivery to numbered tables or collection from a serving hatch or some such process; neither is original as I have experienced them many times in the past. Human ingenuity will find a way to adapt.

  5. Peter
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    I was a pub user before lockdown. I like draught ales which you can mostly only get in a pub. Of course you can get containers now either from breweries or pubs themselves. However, I have never found ale travels well much further than the pub garden. Good ale requires a good cellar man who knows how to keep a beer and when it is in tip top condition.

    So at home I drink bottled beer but I only want one bottle in the sunshine in the garden. For me, drinking is a social activity and I am drinking less at home – not more. The danger is people will get out of the pub habit. A pub with social distancing where you cannot relax for fear of infection may not appeal.

  6. Mark B
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Well I don’t think many will be too interested in hosting Chinese tourists, do you ?

    We no longer see matchstick girl’s or shoeshine boy’s anymore, and there is a reason for that. Industries come and go and are replaced by others. But this depends on the economy being dynamic and open to change. If we really need to pull out of this we need less regulation and taxes. Sadly it seems we will be getting neither.

    I have, as far as possible, tried to maintain the same routines. And yes, as soon as this nonsense is over I will be looking to go out to restaurants and events. I am even thinking of booking a foreign holiday later in the year. I have not swallowed the blue pill 😉

  7. M Hopkins
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    I would like life to resume as normal immediately. I am not afraid.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      M Hopkins

      YOU may not be afraid but no doubt you would expect to be treated should you be unlucky enough to catch this dreadful disease and would thereby put other peoples’ lives at risk. Not a very brave thing to do.

      • Treacle
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Our hospitals are one-third empty. It is perfectly reasonable for M Hopkins to want to return to normality now. In the exceptionally unlikely event of him/her needing hospital treatment for Covid-19, our hospitals, which he/she has paid for through taxation, are empty and waiting.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    The ban on people staying at their (or indeed at other people’s) holiday homes should certainly be lifted now. Hotels surely should be able to open too, they will after all be fairly empty anyway.

    Can the scientists and doctors please come up with some treatments that work and or a vaccine as soon as possible. How is the plasma treatments coming on. We need to escape the lockdown now and get back to work.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    If, as in some industries, the job has gone and is not coming back soon the furlough scheme is doing more harm than good, just delaying the adjustments needed. 80% was always too high after tax and travel you are hardly any worse off not working – so why bother.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      just delaying the adjustments needed.

      I assume you mean ‘delaying losing your job and having to find another one’. Not easy to find another job at the moment. So, delay is a good idea to give people a chance of not losing their job and then their home.

  10. Non-gambler
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    I must add, any attempts by Authority inspections will be futile. Any ‘successes’ will lead to huge anger at the government by workers, employers and the general public. Also in reality people will easily be bought-off or by far, they will ‘go with the flow’ as they always do in ‘peace time’,and yes the highest levels too. Especially the highest levels. Government created Local Authorities and has let the truly gangster element rule every aspect for as long as I have lived and my late parents lived.
    Of course MPs cannot be bought off. or taught to turn a blind eye, they are honourable as you must know JR. Perfect in all regards.We are blessed.

  11. Bernard from Bucks
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Caravan and camping sites could open immediately. We already have a mandatory 6 metre spacing between units anyway.

  12. Ian Wragg
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    The 2 metre rule is nonsense. Let people use common sense and get on with their lives

    I see Brussels is set to take a stake in struggling businesses. They must be wetting themselves at the prospect of part nationalising swathes of the economy. Game set and match paid for by the taxpayer.
    Good job were leaving.

  13. Jeff12
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    This whole lockdown and social distancing disaster will lead to the greatest depression in history. No society can exist like this, particularly one as financially fragile as the modern version. The believers in these policies are either mad or have evil intent. If they want the dystopian surveillance, rat your neighbour out, forced vaccination horror of a country they are bringing into being then we are entering a new dark age made worse by technology and the weakness of people’s will to resist. In a just world those responsible for this would be brought to justice, sadly that is not a world we live in.

  14. Al
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    I would not go to a pub or restaurant, but I would certainly go to a cafe if it had seperation between tables and ideally an outdoor section. There are some aspects of work that cannot be done over Zoom or by phone or email, and an outdoor cafe minimises transmission possibilities compared to an enclosed office.

  15. Old Albion
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    A pub with a garden should be allowed to use it’s garden now. Waiter service only. Weather dependant obviously.
    Last year my wife and I went to a 2 person cabin on a lake, where I could fish. We’d like to do that again, but the cabin is closed due to Covid regulations, why?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Old Albion

      Why

      Because if the cabin is not clinically cleaned and disinfected clinically and properly between guests, one guest could pass it, or catch it from another.

      I would not be happy at the moment to sleep in a room which had been used by previous guests the night before, because it would be impossible to sanitise the room properly in the time available between guests checking out and checking in.

  16. Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Perhaps logic should come into play ….It seems there are more reasons to ignore the virus as much as possible, and get on with life.

    By adhering to restrictions we are:
    – creating the Mother of all recessions;
    – destroying livelehoods;
    – MSM is having a field day scaring us to death;
    – having SOME of those in authority acting harshly and irrationally without real cause;
    – now told that taxes will have to rise yet again;
    – forced into poverty.

    Then there are those trying to impose their will to make us do as they tell us, while all the time stating that life will never be the same again – What they have in mind is not life – Far from it – It is suppression and total control of the masses they seek.

    While nobody wants to see people go to their grave early, one has to wonder if we wouldn’t have been better off if CV had been handled differently and without the overwhelming scare stories on the BBC – They never let us forget the subject for one moment..!

    • APL
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris: “one has to wonder if we wouldn’t have been better off if CV had been handled differently and without the overwhelming scare stories on the BBC”

      For the answer to that question, look to Sweden. Or any of a number of US States that didn’t lockdown. Sweden especially has as a proportion of its population, a smaller rate of mortality.

      As to the BBC. It has played a malevolent role by spreading fear, panic and generating hysteria.

      Given that we are looking at a 15 to 20% fall in GDP, the BBC must not be allowed to walk away from with out taking its share of the costs.

      That means severe cuts to its budget.

  17. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Yes, I will take two staycations this summer and autumn – and I hope that government has a working group on the issue already, to make sure that all the blocks to my doing that are removed, in so far as they can. I would also favour temporary VAT reductions for the tourism sector; that won’t reduce prices but it will help the businesses back to profitability. The government’s popularity will be taking a huge hit from Joe Public’s not being able to take a summer holiday this year. Cossetted MPs – particularly ministers – need to appreciate that.
    I’ll use pubs and restaurants from the second they are allowed to re-open, as long as the owners are adopting suitable public hygiene measures. Of my usual haunts, two could safely re-open today; the third has a much more complex problem but could serve snacks and drinks al fresco to its golf course patrons, if allowed to. One thing that needs encouraging is for restaurants to flatten the curve for busy Sunday lunches, by offering them across Saturday and Monday too. That’s something government might suggest to the sector.
    I’ve taken a look at the Leeds Castle (Kent) website and note that their lovely grounds have been closed since the lockdown. This was in keeping with the government’s Using-a-Chainsaw-for-Brain-Surgery policy. Now, the castle has no outdoor events planned until mid-July and there seems to be a concentration on bigger events. Perhaps the outdoor venues around the country could be encouraged to put on regular, small-scale live-entertainment events across the summer? And outdoor cinema, as Leeds Castle will be doing.
    Well, off to the garden-centre, to buy more than I would otherwise have bought. Sunak needs my VAT and the owner the rest. It’s time for the comfortably-off to spend like drunken sailors!

  18. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Certainly an impossible position for some businesses, not much point in wearing a mask in a restaurant or pub for sure.

    Can only hope that this virus passes just as fast as it arrived, but I think those thoughts are for the birds at the moment, in the meantime we have to try and learn to live with it as best we can, and face up to the fact that life and our habits has to change a bit in the meantime.

  19. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Rather than booking holidays for the future I have been cancelling them, or rather they have been cancelled on us, because the venues are not allowed to open.

    Four holidays so far, all were due to take place before the middle of July, all in the UK.

    Having a battle with some operators to actually get money back, as I will not accept vouchers, which would be potentially worthless if the company or venue ceases to trade.

    Fortunately paid all of them with a credit card, so Section 75 is the back up position.
    One case in hand at the moment, looks like another case to follow.

    I really see no point in booking anything at the moment until I see which way the virus is heading with regards to risk levels etc.
    Who wants to go on holiday when all pubs, restaurants, attractions and places of interest are closed, and their opening dates are understandably unknown.

    No idea what next year will hold, so will wait and see.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      Alan

      You make a good point, albeit if you pardon me, without realising it. You mention ‘risk’. Risk will have an impact on consumer confidence and, if the risk is high, you will not make your purchasing decisions. This is why I thought, and still think, that the governments behaviour was extremely reckless. For political and humbristic reasons they turned a drama into a crisis. For that they will pay.

  20. MPC
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    The government on the one hand says how grateful it is to the public for observing lockdown rules but won’t trust us to apply common sense in terms of where we can visit. If pubs and restaurants were allowed to open we would decide ourselves whether any Covid precautions were adequate at each one (as people do in Sweden). So informed choices could be exercised in a Covid affected market with the best suppliers rewarded by our custom.

  21. DOMINIC
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    ”95,000 have entered UK from abroad during coronavirus lockdown”

    Why? What’s the political scam?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      That seems a very low number, where did you get those figures..

      I thought there were more nationals than that, that had been repatriated from abroad.

  22. agricola
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Between Porton Down and Roche it has been announced that we in the UK have a 100% accurate antibody test, and that having antibodies gives an estimated 3 years immunity to Covid 19. So ensure that it is covered by patents and then licenced for a fee to any country wishing to produce it, income to Roche and the UK.

    Then check the population on a priority programme, NHS and care homes first, then all the hospitality industries you mention, after which the general population. We then will know who can work safely with others until such time as we have a vaccine making everyone safe. Immunity and vaccine information should be prominently stamped in passports as a health visa. Get started.

  23. Iain Gill
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I never queue at the bar in weatherspoons anyway, I order on my phone and it gets delivered to my table.

  24. Newmania
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    You can open the pubs all you like no-one is going to go to them – these industries are finished along with cinemas theatres professional sport other than TV. They will not reemerge until there is confidence that it is safe .
    The restrictions are secondary . It is going to be very very tough for the regions whose industries are already facing Brexit related structural decline when there are no other jobs .
    Plus side – fewer witless chefs infesting the media
    Don`t know about anyone else but I just want some new faces , it may not be the most pressing problem but MPs celebs …I`m so bored with the whole moronic churn of it

  25. BOF
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    The two metre distancing needs revising urgently. It will make running a pub almost impossible, as it will with air travel as well.

    Together with 14 day quarentine, is the plan to kill off tourism and pubs?

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Its not law its not a regulation ….its only guildance from PHE

  26. Sue Perb
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    In the period that we have been locked down for so far, both (named large catering companies ed)have refused to pay their rent in order to prioritise wages for staff. It’s the tip of the iceberg and an indication of the terrible damage being inflicted on the industry. If this action by two industry giants is indicative of the current crisis, then god only knows how the smaller business are bearing up.

    I would feel more than comfortable visiting a pub or restaurant and I would not want to see ant changes in operation. The social distancing guidelines are based on inconsistent and questionable scientific advice and I would therefore take great issue in the hospitality industry having to adapt their operation when they have struggled so much over the past two months.

    I would also happily consider a weekend break in the England, the tourism industry has already suffered greatly in this country and a swift return to business as usual is vital for the safety of millions of jobs and businesses.

    End the lockdown now!

  27. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I did not study the Soviet Union’s economy so I may be wrong but one assumes that it ran a substantial deficit, paying all its citizens in a command economy with little in the way of exports.

    Therefore the cries from the scared and the left for a universal income or to keep workers furloughed while there is danger can only turn us into a command economy which generates little revenue (see the March GDP figures which are only going to get worse).

    There is plenty of speculation that we are moving towards a gentler, more pleasant and less active future with lesser standards of living. I do not think that the majority will accept that.

    Therefore at some point we are going to have to face this virus out in the pen and start these businesses up again normally. They won’t be ale to survive on reduced sales due to social distancing measures and having fewer people attending without putting their prices up and I doubt there is an appetite to pay more for a different style.

    Soon we will have to return to normal as we can’t continue to pay people to stay at home infinitely and those who are still working need customers (consumers or business) with cash.

    Without an imminent treatment (we will not get a vaccine) there is no other way.

    • Mark
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      Life in the Soviet Union was in general fairly grim until it became a petrostate in the 1970s after oil prices quintupled. At the time it was the world’s largest oil producer. The introduction of imported consumer goods, and the implosion of oil prices that saw the economy once again in tatters in the latter 1980s were part of the Perestroika background that led to the fall of communism. As with most revolutions, life once again became very grim for most.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 4:29 am | Permalink

      Socialism, despite what it champions claim, does not lift the population up. It drags them all down. Why should someone work hard for something only for others to take it away bit by bit (taxes) and give it to others.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

        Correct – see the Universal credit system where I could take home £36K doing a minimum wage job full time. Why would I want to commute 1.5 hours each way and have the stresses of management for the same take home?

  28. Chris Dark
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Whilst happy to hear about tourism opening, I am really not going to buy the thing of spending my time dancing around trying to stay two metres from other people. It is totally unnatural behaviour and makes a mockery of trying to “enjoy” one’s day out. Likewise, seeing attractions and B&Bs kitted out to force people apart. I am quite happy to forego restaurants, cafes, etc for the long-term, until this lunacy has been ended once and for all.
    I can apparently sit on a bus, socially distanced from another stranger-passenger, but cannot visit my own children elsewhere in the British Isles, thanks to devolved governments making up their own rules. Until they too have been freed, I simply shall not bother.

  29. Adam
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Concept: Reduce transmission to zero in each County, zone by zone

    Restrict movement between counties to Govt clearance points, solely on main roads.
    Make each County responsible for smaller restricted zones within its own boundaries.
    Allow ingress of Govt remedial teams & resources where needed.
    Proceed toward zero transmission.
    Allow free movement between any adjacent zero infection zones.

  30. matthu
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, there is a choice.

    Allow the virus more or less to take its natural course. Warn people about the dangers and allow them to make their own decisions. Many people, mainly very elderly with underlying health conditions and currently housed in nursing homes, will pass on. But very likely, owing to their great age and underlying health conditions, they would have died within months anyway. (Many of these same people are already being persuaded to sign “do not resuscitate” agreements.)

    Of course, it is regrettable that despite every precaution, a very much smaller number of younger people will also succumb. Perhaps with the advent of improved testing and the possible development of a vaccine, some lives will be saved.

    The alternative is to allow our own fear – largely spiked by mainstream media (who possibly have their own agenda to drive) – to kill economies all over the world while killing off whole industries such as airlines, retail shops, pubs, hotels, hair dressers and at the same time saddling future generations with years of debt and high taxes.

    Listen to Lord Sumption discussing the Coronavirus lockdown on BBC R4 with Evan Davis.

  31. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    The outstanding lesson from the 1918 flu epidemic was that the faster, harder and more effectively that you hit the contagion, the less the economic damage.

    This government did virtually nothing for pricelessly precious weeks.

    In so doing, they have demonstrated how vital it was that that lesson be followed.

    Yes, all sorts of enterprises will be hammered.

    • Ed M
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      @Martin,

      Cheer up. Whether you’re right or wrong, makes no difference now.

      What matters now is we move forward as best as we can including people getting out there and, if they can afford to, spend their money on British things, so as to keep our economy going as best as possible.

  32. John Downes
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    “I would be interested to know how you would respond to some relaxation in these areas?”
    The first day the pubs open I shall be down to my local for a gallon.
    I shall certainly be using local restaurants to a greater extent than before.
    Weekend breaks and holidays in England (or Wales) will definitely be on the agenda.

    But this is all really missing the point, which to me is that the present lock-down is preposterous. It’s ironic that a nation that quite properly rejected Project Fear four years ago should now be in thrall to the alarmist projections of a discredited scientist. It’s time for people (and especially Boris) to wake up.
    @JohnnyDownes

  33. Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The new business model of UK Plc has pulled the rug from under the entire business sector. What sector is thriving? Home delivery services for everything?
    Is a shopping Mall going to survive when the High Street can’t?
    If we comply with the madness of U.K. plc then none of our buildings, towns, highways, homes or factories is built ‘fit for purpose’. If you extrapolate the cost per sq ft of buildings that would accommodate the 2m rule, none are financially viable.
    It is impossible to turn every cafe and restaurant into a takeaway, every hotel into a home. What has to be changed is the CEO of UK plc. Low risk of reversing Clean Brexit now as Starmer has bought in, so plainly we have to have a PM with the courage to live in the world as it is, full of germs, disease, killers of all kinds. We have lived in these conditions since the dawn of time. Why is it suddenly impossible?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      And in most modern houses it is impossible to ever be 2 metres from someone else. I try to keep 2 metres from my wife at all times but it is proving very difficult.

  34. Sakara Gold
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Personally, no I would’nt. S Korea relaxed its lockdown and is now suffering a massive second spike

    I would need to be convinced that:-

    1) The number of new infections across the 4 nations had fallen to a negligible level and a contact tracing system was in place

    2) The NHS hospitals were re-organised into quarantined isolation hospitals where staff were living onsite for those patients who had tested positive and general hospitals for everybody else who had tested negative

    3) The police had been instructed to cease using their ANPR system to identify car travellers from out of their area, so that they can be harassed into paying the £80 on-the-spot fine

    4) Positive steps had been taken to stop NHS hospitals from discharging elderly patients straight into care homes without testing them first, not on arrival

    5) The government had released accurate information about the location and intensity of hotspots so the public can avoid travelling into highly contaminated areas

    6) Everybody crossing our borders into the UK is quarantined for 14 days and not released into our communities until they have been tested negative on three consecutive days at the end of their quarantine

    In my view the government’s Chinese plague virus response has now become so political that it is highly unlikely that any of the above eminently sensible proposals will be followed, so I’ll be staying at home.

  35. Cor blimey gov
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The nature of the hospitality’ industry is that the workers are expendable. As-and-when-required. If they are not’ required’ at any one time, they get another job. They have to. The pub landlord’s mantra ” It’s hard to keep staff.” The workers mantra “It’s hard to keep our hours”
    Lockdown, speaking politely may and only may have, created an orderly progressing queue via Hospitals and Care Homes to the tomb. My jury is out on whether it saved one single life and probably created many additional deaths for the NHS staff were not micro-biologically clean. A number entered those establishments without being infected and got the infection in a place of safety .
    It is folklore if you go and sit in a doctor’s surgery waiting room with one ailment, you go home with three more. Same with hospitals, it is a known from days of yore. Obviously.
    The old should have been isolated first. The NHS staff kept away from them. Sorry but kept away from them!
    Lockdown was an experiment. It failed, in my view. It was bound to fail. Real life is not a graph or a map of interactions on paper.
    Pubs and clubs, and other things should allow everyone under 50 complete freedom. WORK. It is minor activity which pays 0.00000l% of NHS staff pay. It says so on my graph.

  36. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I hear that construction is going to be allowed until 9pm in residential areas – and 24/7 in non-residential. And are we assuming that the construction workers actually want to work all day – physical work ( not behind a desk) till 9pm? Then be back 10 hours (or less) after they last knocked off? Get up/ eat/work/eat/sleep? No family time? Where are all the extra people coming from for 24/7 working? More immigrants? or are the workers just supposed to go non-stop? After all manual workers are seen as easily replaceable. What about H&S training? Skills in operating the machinery etc? Yet again – another comment that has been turned out by those who have no clue about the world they make the rest of us live in – and no concern either.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      bigneil

      I think they are looking for the existing workers to still work 8 hours a day, but to stagger their working hours,to avoid an early morning/evening rush and thus congestion on transport.

      This would certainly be possible for some people.

  37. Anonymous
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    There’s not a lot we can do about the pubs while we continue our war with the virus.

    I’m dismayed that so many people are running kitchen charities to support NHS workers. Though they deserve our thanks they are still being paid the same as before with job security (none that we know of has died of CV-19 because of their job.) The NHS itself has just had £13bn of debt written off by the government and much of this had been caused by mismanagement.

    People in need of feeding are those on the high street and in hospitality. Any mismanagement of this crisis was caused by people employed in the public sector who failed to plan for it. As usual the private sector takes the hit.

    We’ll always have Weatherspoons and plastic Irish bars but those delightful, independent English pubs ? Those gems that you could find after a long walk in the country ?

    I’m afraid they may be gone and who’d want to take the risk starting one and nurturing it ?

  38. Fred H
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I think possibly millions wish to be able to socialise in pubs, restaurants, coffee shops. BUT until the infections and deaths fall dramatically there is no prospect of significant numbers going out to enjoy. Small numbers of the younger generation will abandon caution as they always will, and some older ones too who view their demise as not so far off anyway!

    • Treacle
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Outside care homes, they have fallen dramatically. In London, the number of people contracting Covid-19 per day is now 24. There is really no excuse for keeping London closed down at this point.

  39. Kevin
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    “Would you consider a week-end break or a holiday somewhere in England”

    Meanwhile, in Scotland and Wales, what is the situation? Does the Queen’s (P.M.’s) writ no longer run in these areas? Is the Conservative Government engaging in trade negotiations while being unable to assure the other parties that two out of the three nations of Great Britain will be open for business at any particular time? Is it really the case that one of the powers that has been granted to the devolved administrations is absolute power?

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      If we follow your logic to its conclusion, then, equally, we should not discuss a trade deal with the USA, a country where lockdown measures are decided at the level of the individual state, and within states, sometimes vary by county.

  40. formula57
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Having endured severe (whilst not specially onerous) restrictions to avoid the virus, I will not be tempted to deliberately place myself at risk through visiting hospitality and tourist venues, none of which I have any need to visit until after the “all clear” is sounded.

  41. majorfrustration
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Doubt if I would venture out too far and certainly not to a pub or restaurant. Might change my views when I feel I can trust the Government and its advisors/Quangos. Could be a long wait.

  42. stephen reay
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    I certainly won’t be visiting pubs or restaurants until either a treatment or vaccine is found. I’ll have to manage the virus the best I can, after all life has to go on . I’ll avoid public transport and smaller buildings that I consider a risk and wear a mask in supermarkets or garden centres.

    I’m in my autum years and of course the virus is a greater risk. I’m sure I’ve had the virus and got through it alright , but next time who knows.

  43. Known NHS staff
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope Boris is recovering from the virus and managing to cope with all the other viruses and microbes he picked up in hospital.

  44. Tim the Coder
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Both pub and it’s customers are grown ups.
    Capable of making their own decisions.
    Pull of the stasi and let adults make their own decisions.

    “But think of the impact on the NHS” just demonstrates the NHS fascist nature, that our bodies are the property of the state, and it is the bigest argument for NHS abolition.

    Move to an insurance scheme where our adult choices influence our premiums.

    Carry on nannying, and before long, everyone will just ignore the government and its lackeys.

  45. DOMINIC
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I would like your views on who we can dismantle the socialist client state built up since 1997 by rancid Labour and the party you represent both inside and outside of the cesspit that is the British Parliament?

    I would like your views on why it is that your party in government has conspired with Labour to dismantle our liberties and freedoms and why we are now subject to liberal left social conditioning and a politics that treats the wider population as nothing more than North Korean lackeys to be herded like sheep in one direction?

    Ring that socialist-NHS bell tonite and watch them clap like Pavolv’s dog in a cage. It defies all rationale that the British cannot see they are being drawn into an authoritarian trap

    • Mark B
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 4:42 am | Permalink

      Sadly, the sheep out number the goats 1,000,000 to 1.

  46. Christine
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    The problem you have John is that the public sector is sitting pretty during this lockdown. They aren’t the ones furloughed or losing their businesses. As we saw with Brexit the public sector is infested with left wing, climate change liberals. They neither care nor understand that its business that drives the economy. Some even see this as a further opportunity to derail our trade talks. Just look at the damaging amendments that are being put forward to the agricultural bill.

    All the fat cats sitting in the public sector need to have their pay reduced and this includes the BBC. I’m sure if you asked the question as to how the number of managers has increased in the last twenty years you would be shocked by the result. Promotion is how the public sector has circumvented pay freezes for years.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      And MPs. Everyone on the public dole should have their salary reduced to 80% for the duration. What IS so SPECIAL about them?

    • Mark B
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 4:44 am | Permalink

      The government should put a fixed percentage of GDP for admin. From that salaries and such like can be paid. Poor GDP equals poor salaries for the public sector. Make them have skin in the game for once.

  47. Norman
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    You raise many good questions.
    Nowadays, it seems governments take upon themselves the role of God – be it climate change, health, wealth or any other thing. This is dangerous, and will fail, or worse, lead to a totalitarian new world order.
    The bottom line is that, having modified the initial wave of infection, we must now return to normal asap. The consequences of not doing so will be far worse than the disease.

    • Writer
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      My behaviour has not changed at all except I am compelled to go to the supermarket for food which is 100% higher.Government should keep everyone on lockdown. Less traffic disturbing my personal writing, less hooligans on the street. On balance it’s perfect for me. My great fear for Government and all actively supporting it though is if I change my mind.

    • ed2
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Nowadays, it seems governments take upon themselves the role of God

      >
      we all have to bow before the king of Babylon?

  48. IanT
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I think guidelines should be relaxed to allow many aspects of life to return to normality – for most younger/healthy people the risks are very low. Too low to allow the Virus to completely destroy our economy.

    However, my wife and myself will remain in self-imposed isolation until we either have a vaccine or the virus has been eradicated from this country. We probably won’t be going abroad after that (and certainly no flying or cruises) for the foreseeable future either. But this will be a personal choice not by edict…

    So open up the pubs and restaurants and forget 2m Social Distancing (it’s simply not practical for most things – just enforce absolute cleanliness/hygiene) and let the young get on with their lives. But I wouldn’t expect the Grey Pound to be ‘out and about’ anytime soon – whatever the Government guidelines state.

  49. Irene
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    By the time the Agriculture Bill goes thru, without the clause to ensure imported food meets our high standards of production, chlorinated chicken will be on the menu alongside food stuffed with antibiotics. Restaurants and cafes, festival food suppliers and hotels will struggle then. How many more MPs will join the Chancellor and demonstrate “that their use of technology was not quite as good as they felt that it ought to be” (according to the Deputy Speaker yesterday). You couldn’t make it up if you tried. Tempted to crack a joke about headless chickens, but I won’t.

    Reply Untrue. The government is keeping high standards.

    • hefner
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Sir John, Could you please be more explicit and tell us who you consider to be the Government? The PM? The PM plus advisors? The cabinet? Cabinet plus other lesser ministers and secretaries? Idem plus associated top civil service? Where do you put the Parliament in that chain of responsibilities?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      I have never seen what the issue with chlorinated chicken can be.
      It was always (traditionally) standard practice to wash poultry prior to cooking, sometimes with vinegar if the bird smelled a bit “high”. (And I know about the idea of droplets all over the kitchen etc…but then I also know about “settled science” as in green and lockdown!!). Not to mention hanging game until it acquired new life forms!
      OK there is the argument that chlorinated is a way to worse welfare but unless we all go visit poultry farms and (all) abattoirs we are in no position to judge really.
      Chlorinated chicken = made-up block to trade with U.S.

    • jerry
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      @Irene, Tell me something, how many peoplre each year in the USA die due to food related poisoning and how many die due to complication from obesity… Also, as you appear to dislike your food being washed in chlorine, I take it that you eat only home grown fruit and veg?

      @JR reply; So the UK will be dumping problematic EU food regs, I some how doubt it, as UK farmers want to keep them because they act as protectionist measures against cheaper (non-EU) imports.

      • jerry
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, I meant to say SOME farmers want to keep EU food regs, the same farmers who seem to like the CAP and being paid not to plough fields etc.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        The most recent federal goverment estimate was 48 million cases of food poisoning in the USA in a year. For the UK, the estimate is 2.4 million cases, a 20-fold difference. The difference in population size is much smaller than that, which leads to a much higher incidence of food poisoning (c. 4x) in the USA compared to the UK. Something must be responsible for a 4x higher incidence, and it is reasonable to conclude that differing food standards will be a factor in that.

        • jerry
          Posted May 15, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          @Peter Parsons; Yes, I seem to recall the USA had a very serious outbreak of listeria due to unwashed fresh salads… In case you did not notice, the OP was talking about US meat, chicken to be specific…

        • Edward2
          Posted May 15, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          Underneath that internet article are others showing how comparing these figures is unreliable because of the very different ways both countries define and compile their statistics.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      What IS the obsession with chickens washed in chlorinated water?

      We already eat salads from Europe washed in chlorinated water, we drink chlorinated water….

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        Sharon

        I am with you.

        If it’s on the label people can make their own minds up, do not really understand the problem.

      • beresford
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        Some people confuse the issue. It’s not that chlorine-washed chicken is a health hazard, it’s that chlorine-washing allows lower animal welfare standards and therefore unfair competition to European farmers.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 4:47 am | Permalink

        It’s from the USA and will have an impact on those from the EU who sell to us. ie A manufactured aggrievement to prevent competition.

    • Gordon
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      If you maintain existing standards, you don’t get a trade deal with the US. So kindly stop pretending Brexit doesn’t involve choices. Which is it, lower standards than we have now or no free trade deals.

      • jerry
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        @Gordon; Except our host said high standards, not EU standards! 😕

    • Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Our “washed” salads are chlorinated already, so I don’t see any harm in chicken being treated in a similar way, as long as consumers are made aware and can then choose for themselves what to buy. We have a chance to improve labelling, as well as open up our markets, and should take it.

    • Mike Wroe
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      The answer is clear labelling. Your salad is chlorine washed. If you don’t want to eat chlorinated chicken. Don’t buy it. Buy British.

    • mancunius
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Irene, the highly detailed 108-page government brief on the UK-US Trade Deal Talks (published on 02/03/20) contains specific guarantees of UK food standards, the repeated assurance that this is a primary consideration of the UK negotiating team, and descriptions of precisely how those standards will be maintained.

      It seems remainers are unable or unwilling to read it, preferring to cluck the word ‘chlorinated’ with their hands over the ears. That impresses nobody.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Do you ever travel abroad and if so, if outside the EU, do you take all your food with you? Or do you, like me, rely on safety standards eg in North America and not ask shops and restaurants there whether they comply with EU standards? I wonder what Nick Clegg does now he lives in the US, as he was very exercised about chlorinated chicken.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        I (and we), have eaten many dozens of breakfasts in Hotels, eateries, had wonderful ‘roadside’ lunches of a ‘sandwich’ that could last you all day, and excellent dinners without the slightest hint of a doubt about culinery standards – in numerous States of US and over decades – not sure I would say the same about UK. If you choose to eat bulk McD type food you can get fat in the UK same as the USA.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        I wonder what Nick Clegg does now he lives in the US, as he was very exercised about chlorinated chicken.

        I have gained the impression from The Guardian’s comment sections that eating chlorinated chicken is compulsory in America and will be compulsory here as soon as we have been shafted in a trade ‘deal’.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 5:04 am | Permalink

        I lived in the USA for 15 years, and ate plenty of their chicken. I couldn’t tell any difference between that, and the chicken I buy here in the UK.

        I think a lot of people who talk about chlorinated chicken, are just jumping on the bandwagon, and have never been to the USA. Personally, I found their food standards to be the equal of those in the UK.

    • NeverCrushedBrexit
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      If chlorination kills off corona virus, give me double helpings of that chicken!

    • Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      33,000 people in the EU die of food poisoning every year. Maybe they should wash their chicken in clean (chlorinated) water like they was their lettuce.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        stop bringing logic to the debate

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      You don’t have to buy American food, like chloro-chuck, if you don’t want to.

  50. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    We are supposed to go to the Lakes in October staying in a cottage. We have already cancelled May abd hope October will be ok. Yes we would go if allowed. We would clean the cottage ourselves on arrival. We would then visit places that had strict rules in place and failing that would just enjoy walks abd relaxing in different surroundings.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Why on earth you should be banned from doing this?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        God only knows

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      We too had our cruise cancelled for May and have rebooked for October. If the ship sails all being well we shall be on it.
      Having spent a large part of my life either under water or in the desert, i fear not Covid 19 or any other variant.
      Que seah

  51. Roger Phillips
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Ruining the economy and bankrupting the country for a virus with a 99% recovery rate, stop this nonsense now!

    • Adam
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      In that all existence is connected at some level, those who have developed antibodies might unknowingly transfer those to people in ways similar to that which the virus does. If so, each self-quarantined couple could be invited to hotels sharing space with previously-infected people.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      It is surely time to largely unlock and get back to work now. The numbers in hospital are declining significantly each day. It is quite likely that a rather large number of people have had it and perhaps a further large number are not even susceptible to catching it. About 60,000 have now died with it perhaps something like 10 to 30 million have had it are are not susceptible.

      I do not think we should worry to much about a significant second peak. Even if the rate goes up a little it will be manageable.

      We cannot hide in the end anyway.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

        perhaps something like 10 to 30 million have had it and are not susceptible.

        You should be a politician the way you work with numbers. PERHAPS less than a million have had it and are not susceptible. Let’s be clear – no-one, NOT YOU, definitely not me, NO-ONE has any idea how many people have been exposed.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      The country and the culture is being devastated by the widespread hysterical propagation of a New Age Superstition, the Unsocial Distance dogma.
      Theatres and cinemas can only operate profitably with sensible numbers (I don’t specify, why validate nonsense?)
      The ruination of the British way of life is happening under the watch of a conservative government. The sheer scale of baffled incompetence is daily becoming more manifest. Sir John, your good sense and impeccable reasoning is exemplary, but it’s now time to call for action from those who are prepared to act. The sanctimonious censure by the supine has gone far too far already.
      It’s becoming an ugly country.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      The virus is reckoned to be capable of infecting eighty percent of the population.

      That’s about fifty million people.

      One percent of that is half a million.

      When even poor Greece had kept its deaths down to just a few dozen, I think that there might be an international inquiry into what happened here, and a due reckoning, if anyone were insane enough to heed your advice.

      I’d carry on worrying about garden centres, Roger.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        thanks for the daily arithmetic lesson.

    • APL
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      “Ruining the economy and bankrupting the country for a virus with a 99% recovery rate, stop this nonsense now!”

      Yes, agreed.

      We’d expect this insanity from the Labour party.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        agree its unreal or surreal

    • Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      +1

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Wise words indeed, I fully agree with your comments its madness

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Hear! Hear!

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Survival rates are:

      Healthy under 65s 99.96% of surviving if infected.

      Healthy under 75s 99.95% of surviving if infected.

      But this is only analysing people who have shown symptoms. We are yet to know the true rate of infections among asymptomatics.

      We should be shielding unhealthy people. The WHO states that CV-19 may be with us forever. How long do we cower ? How many lives do we sacrifice through poverty in order to have the lowest CV-19 death rate ?

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/

      Please check my maths for the section: Mortality Rate by Age.

    • Javelin
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Exactly.

      The lockdown will cause more damage than the virus.

    • UK Qanon
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. “Why are so many HEALTHY people “locked up”.
      Wake up people and be responsible for your own destiny.

      • Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Q – British working people were very tired. Exhausted, in fact I would say, burned out. They really needed this rest, which is why they accepted it. When they are ready to continue life, they will. Nobody will stop them.

        • UK Qanon
          Posted May 15, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          Lynn – If the panic and and fear of CV had not been induced, especially by the MSM people would still be working. Remember the MSM especially the BBC are not there for the people. News is not just what happens, It is what a fairly small group of people (globalists) decide is news. Look who owns the media. Unfortunately we have a large percentage of society who are only too willing to sit around and take the money. There again the system is a part of the problem.

        • M Brandreth- Jones
          Posted May 15, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Yes we were tired but there is so much to catch up on at home that now I am exhausted,. We do have time though to reflect on our futures: individual and societal . I have always planned every day as far as I could, I think in the car how I am going to treat this or that patient , which referrals take priority , how long will I give Mrs so and so before I check that her symptoms are resolving , when can I fit in my next mandatory course as well as the ones I need. At present my movements and meals are planned minute by minute , but I am trying to develop a strategy for the bad ‘good life’ at home .. but then we may die sooner rather than later ..this is a possible truth!

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 15, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          We exhausted by SLOW government

  52. James Bertram
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    As said previously, anything that can be run outdoors should be allowed IMMEDIATELY. You are far less vulnerable to infection outdoors.
    I have a caravan booked in Devon for the last week of June. My path will cross with far less people by going there than staying here at home.
    Why should I get an infection by walking the beach, cliffs or countryside, or swimming/boating in the sea?
    Too, I would go to a pub today if open, pint and cream tea served outdoors in the garden – lovely.
    The people need the money, coastal towns being some of the poorest in the UK. And as said by Peter Wood, the income then spreads throughout that local economy – an area highly dependent on seasonal tourist trade to get through the rest of the year.
    Can the government start using its brain, please? Who will be left working to pay for the recession they are deliberately causing? Who will then pay for the Health Service, Benefits, Pensions, Schooling, etcetera. Do the Tories intend to return us to the 1930s? Crazy.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      And if the caravan had a previous guest who unknown to them and the owner had Coved 19.without symptoms.

      • James Bertram
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

        Still more likely to be run over by a bus, Alan.
        You cannot cancel life just because you are afraid of risks.
        And it is no business of the government as to what risks I take.

  53. Christine
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I’ve just moved my end of May UK holiday to September.

    The company I booked with has cancelled all bookings before July.

    I won’t be booking a foreign holiday any time soon in fear of a second wave.

    As soon as the number of infections reduces, I will book more UK holidays.

    I will be avoiding large gatherings for the rest of this year but I will venture back to pubs and restaurants in the summer if allowed.

    I think Boris has made a clever move putting in place the two-week quarantine. This will force most UK citizens to holiday in the UK. I know if will impact foreign visitors but it will encourage many people to spend their money here in the UK.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      “I know if will impact foreign visitors” – what about the one-way “visitors” that the Border Face are ferrying in – and those who get here without being noticed?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      You are in fantasy land on all counts I think, Christine.

      When many other countries have returned to normal, this one will still be in the throes of the epidemic, and few countries will accept its people without quarantining them.

      There is only token action going on here, apart from the lockdown, not the vital components of an effective plan.

      France’s deaths are down to a few tens per day, and Italy’s to about a third of the UK’s now.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        the throes as you put it are almost all Government (or rather idiot scientists) decided.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 15, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

          Absolutely, Fred.

          Those UK “scientists” are apparently not independent ones, not like the ones which advised the successful countries, certainly.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        No country is returning to ‘normal’ until there’s a vaccine and the WHO have just told us that there may never be one .

        – The hospitals were not overwhelmed
        – coffins are not lined up in the streets
        – no NHS member of staff dealing with COVID-19 patients has died of COVID=19
        – the numbers of NHS staff who have died of COVID-19 accord with the national average of deaths by COVID-19

        There are three EU nations worse than us in death rates per million and France isn’t far behind.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately, the quarantine comes at cost to the airlines. The government must do what it can to get air travel going again. One thing that needs doing is for the insurers to give CV-related cover again. Another, the introduction of at-airport testing.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        The government must do what it can to get air travel going again.

        Why? I don’t give a toss about airlines or air travel. Leave it to the rich. It is noisy, polluting and generally revolting to endure.

    • Pravda
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      “This will force most UK citizens to holiday in the UK” I can hardly believe you wrote that in English and not Russian

      • Fred H
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        I wonder how you write Truth in Chinese? – – just asking.

        • Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          Probably have no word for it, just as there is no word for ‘fair’ in German.

  54. Caterpillar
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Would I sit in a booth with family whilst covered sushi was delivered on conveyor belt? Yes.

    Would I sit in an American diner style booth with family whilst a sizzling skillet is frighteningly slid from one end of the table? Yes.

    Would I sit at a table in a non-crammed non air-con PH for a pint? Yes (though I would worry about table service with staff standing above me and droplets responding to gravity in the usual way – no believable data has been released on transmission risks by both horizontal and vertical separation, and time. )

    Do I think hand sanitising or even hand washing should be enforced on both entry and exit to the above? Yes, but then I always did.

    Do I think ‘we’ can step back from hugs and kisses as greetings to slightly more English distance of separation, a spoken “hello” whilst not looking directly at each other? Yes .. …. please.

  55. philip hatton
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    In answer to your questions. I would consider a holiday, I guess it would need to be self catering as nothing is open. If restaurants were open I would have to make a judgement call on whether I could use them with a minimum risk of picking up the virus, so it would depend on spacing and hygiene standards.

    As user 40’s are mostly unaffected by this virus, but severely impacted by the lock down why don’t we let households with under 40’s (& no underlying conditions) get back to normal life, including opening bars, restaurants and schools? The rest of us stay self isolated with releases in phases based on age and health status.

  56. Jennifer Wallace
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Hi Mr Redwood
    Six months ago my parents booked a holiday cottage in June for their golden wedding anniversary. My husband and I want to book a self catering cottage nearby to join them on the anniversary weekend. My parents are in their seventies and I have an auto-immune condition so I am classed as vulnerable. I will join my parents if you allow the cottages to be booked. We can meet up and still socially distance ourselves. I would be more reluctant to book a hotel until a bit later in the year, although as I take HCQ anyway I am less worried than I was.

  57. Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    My wife and I are living on a small income. We have savings though and our idea of a morning out is shopping at Tesco. To be honest, we don’t even have a cuppa there. It is only when we are with my children abroad that we ever eat out or have a coffee. The pub locally costs £10 a time for two drinks. So that, too, is out of bounds.
    At the moment we rarely go into our local town at all and the big stores are on the outside anyway. So High Street shopping is not something we would do. My wife orders most of her stuff now on the internet or click and collect.
    We eat very well however and live very comfortably. And our daily trip is, as it is for many other people in our suburb, to the local shop.
    How much this will change as the lock-down loosens, I really do not know.

  58. Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Sir

    In answer to your question, yes I would be prepared to go to a pub or restaurant if they opened soon. However, I would wish to be satisfied about hygiene and social distancing. “Hygiene” might include such things as hand sanitisers for regular use by customers and staff and high quality air conditioning. I would expect higher prices to pay for these costs and for the loss of customers due to social distancing.

    I would also consider a week-end break or holiday in England, later this summer.
    However, hotels and B&Bs have a higher duty of care so far as “hygiene” in concerned. The sanitiser and air conditioning comments above apply here. Also, over the years there have been media reports on the cleanliness of rooms and the laundering. I would probably be more inclined to visit a family run B&B as I believe working owners would be more likely to get things right. I would expect to pay higher prices to reflect the extra time and effort as well as reflecting fewer customers, even though there might be cost savings due to fewer staff and a reduction in individual staff pay to somewhere nearer the minimum wage.

    However, these businesses would probably need help with their main costs such as borrowing, rent and rates. Ongoing low interest rates might take care of the borrowing costs (depending on the attitude of the banks), although the repayment of loan capital might be an issue. The market values of bricks and mortar are likely to take a major hit and landlords will come under increasing pressure to reduce the rent. This then brings us to the matter of business rates and the very, very long overdue reform of local government financing. The abolition of business rates would be a good starting point and would also benefit our high streets although I accept it would be of limited benefit to ubiquitous charity shops which already receive a business rates discount of 80% or more.

    I believe that a much reduced private sector will not be able to pay for the current public sector. I would expect the front line health/education/security public sector workers to be looked after but there would need to be major administrative efficiencies and financial savings in both local and central government.

  59. Chris B
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    JR asked a while back about published values of R on daily basis.

    A link found on John Rentoul’s twitter showing graphs of R since the beginning of the outbreak.
    https://joshuablake.github.io/public-RTM-reports/
    It was published by one of the bodies that feeds into the SAGE to calculate the R number that tops the agenda at their bi-weekly meeting. It shows London at 0.4 but north east double that at 0.8. These are equivalent to infections decreasing between 5% and 18% per day.
    Maybe there is some debate over these figures or different estimates from other sources, but it’s hard to see the need to wait 7 weeks to start opening up hospitality. I don’t understand why R for London should be so much lower unless some herd immunity has already been reached.
    The time has come to focus on how to avoid the economy going into a downward spiral post lockdown.

    • It doesn't add up..
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 12:06 am | Permalink

      London started early and had high rates of infections, but it clearly peaked early too. Now infections there have largely fizzled out.

  60. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Has their been any proof of cash being contaminated by the virus? ( I suppose some will miraculously appear now to keep the hysteria going) I have no idea who has handled the packets/tins etc I have just bought, but my cash is treated as if it has come straight from Wuhan or Porton Down. Another part of the govt push to a cashless society? Where every penny spent is monitored – and refusal to comply with “vaccinations” gets a block on access to your account? What happens when the govt computer controlling your account goes “wrong” and you can’t prove what your amount was? Thank God the end gets closer by the day.

    • cornishstu
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      It is one of the many inconsistencies that are prevalent with the advice that is propagated. Personally I wipe everything down that we buy just to be on the safe side though I feel if this was a transmission vector then a lot more people would have been infected despite the distancing and lockdown rules.

  61. oldtimer
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I have just seen this comment on Paul Goodman`s latest article at ConservativeHome.

    “Amid all the talk of track and trace. local hotspots and development of the virus here are some numbers.

    To 1st May ONS has recorded a total of 247,261 deaths from all causes (Covid-19 deaths analysis only goes to 17th April). Of the total deaths 86% have occurred at age 65+ which represents 18% of the population. The other 14% have occurred among the other 82%.

    If we take working age as being 20 to 64 number of deaths has been 32,898, representing 0.09% of the working age population (38,647,529).

    Is there not at least a case for letting this low-risk group return to work?”

    I have not attempted to check the data. This is the kind of information I and others have suggested be supplied by the government in the regular briefings. Perhaps you can ask for it to be confirmed and then updated, say at the end of each week. The author`s suggestion that the low risk be allowed to return to work seems an eminently reasonable point to make.

  62. Polly
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    What would Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher do ?

    I think they would be majoring on a cure for coronavirus and would want to know why the re-purposing drug trials are taking months when they should only take weeks in this emergency situation.

    Here’s an example…

    Bemcentenib entered re-purposing trials, very belatedly, on April 29 and the results are not forecast for months…..

    http://www.pharmatimes.com/news/bemcentinib_first_candidate_to_be_tested_in_unique_accord_study_1339257

    I think they would want to know why Bemcentinib only entered trials on April 29 instead of February 29 and, as more than two weeks have passed, why don’t we know yet if it works ?

    If it works, roll it out across all NHS hospitals immediately.

    Wasn’t Churchill’s maxim ”Action this day !” ?

    I think someone in the UK should copy Churchill.

    Polly

    • Fred H
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      I think someone tries but is a dismal failure.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      The HCQ package of hydrocholoquine with azithromycin and zinc works. It is known as a de facto effective treatment and prophylactic. It is often referred to as the “Lazarus” treatment. The reasons for not giving emergency authorisation for its use in the UK, is, I believe, political, and apparently not based on medical grounds. There is a wealth of clinical studies testifying to its efficacy.

      St Thomas’s hospital, where Boris was an in patient, uses HCQ on some of its patients. Boris underwent a miraculous recovery (typical of HCQ treatment) which would certainly not have happened with the oxygen and paracetamol treatment that the government scientific advisers recommend. They obviously could not have had the death of a PM on their hands so they had to pull out the stops.

      If Boris did have this HCQ treatment, then this information should not be withtheld from us, and nor should the opportunity for us to have it prescribed be denied us. One rule/treatment for those in power, and one for the ordinary folks? The Conservatives should be working so hard to prove it is otherwise, Sir John, i.e. that they are different from Labour and the hard Left. At the moment, I don’t see much difference.

      Reply We need proper evidence re these drugs. This site does not express medical opinions nor recommend treatments.

  63. beresford
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I will return to my life as soon as the Government permits me to do so. Real Ale pubs, steam railways, leisure centres, public transport, all at risk of permanent closure if this goes on for much longer. I will be wary of those coughing, sneezing, spitting or shouting, and may carry a mask with me to use if things get too crowded. We need public information films (‘Coughs and sneezes spread diseases’) in order to condition people in how to lower risk, and then let us make adult decisions as we do every time we decide to cross the road.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      . . . Government permits me to do so.

      That is the saddest thing I have read on here for a very long time.

      THEY ARE OUR SERVANTS, NOT MASTERS YOU FOOL !

  64. John Waugh
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    An earlier appeal for common sense by one of the Founding Fathers of United States.

    Truth loves an appeal to the common sense of mankind.
    Your unperverted understandings can best determine on subjects of a practical nature.
    The positions and plans which are said to be above the comprehension of the multitude may be always suspected to be visionary and fruitless .

    This was part of a speech by Samuel Adams on 1st August 1776 in Philadelphia.

  65. djc
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    End this lockdown, completely, now. The sooner some people get back to normal life, the sooner the rest will stop hiding behind the sofa.
    The most despairing part of this whole pandemic is to see how many people I thought level-headed have succumbed to hysteria and panic.
    When the histories are written this will outclass Tulip Mania and the South Sea Bubble as an example of mass delusion.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      It is a mass delusion and I have seen the same despairing and timorous infantile failure to exercise a sense of proportion in people that I thought knew better.
      The bovine acceptance of the Unsocial Distance aberration is going to result in a long lasting New Age Superstition.
      Our vacuum filled Cabinet needs to prick this bubble of induced insanity before further derangement takes place.

  66. a-tracy
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    John, I feel people just don’t have the information to make these decisions. Are you getting reports with numbers of covid 19 hospital admissions and facts as to why cv19 is still spreading in the UK, where? Which current (current = going into hospital in the last two weeks) workers are infected with it that need to go to A&E? How do those workers think they caught it, what were their close connections? We were told self-isolation would be like taking a domino out of a domino run and stop the virus in its track but his has been going on for nearly EIGHT weeks now and we’ve now been told potentially another five months.

    Key workers have been staying in B&Bs or small hotels throughout the last eight weeks have any of them caught the virus? The hotels have been recording them and checking their documents so it won’t be difficult to check.

  67. a-tracy
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    People have been getting millions of packages and envelopes delivered to their homes in the last eight weeks, some studies from Universities in the UK are saying the virus is staying alive on these items for 3 days! How do they know? How many of these people, home isolating with no physical contact but home deliveries arriving have caught COVID 19, severe enough to go to A&E with it? What underlying conditions did they have? Did they have care workers or medical workers in their home?

    I just don’t believe government figures anymore. I’ve lost trust and I’m beginning to wonder why we’re being treated like mushrooms.

    As for we should have locked down earlier. The virus wasn’t as rampant in Scotland and the South West when the lockdown happened so what happened? London may have been late going into lockdown but other regions weren’t late. Other Countries in the EU how long after the outbreak in Lombardy did Rome shut? Too many questions, not enough answers for people to sensibly assess the risk to themselves and we aren’t being given details.

    Another question before we know how safe it is to resume certain activities:
    1. How many of those in hospital being treated for covid19 in the past 8 weeks went to football matches, rugby matches, Cheltenham races in the two weeks before they were admitted? Until we determine where men that went into hospital caught it from how can people decide what activities to go back to?
    2. How many went to a wedding?
    3. How many went to a funeral with more than 20 people?

    Lots of these people dying in hospital are elderly, retired or not working, what activities were they doing in the three weeks before they were admitted? Has it been investigated?

  68. Yossarion
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Its clear that the main areas of the Virus are in the Big Cities, as much as these businesses want visitors its far to early to risk this virus getting out of control, I think there should be a limit of twenty five miles that People can travel from home for leisure.
    We are at War and in times of War there are casualties.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      more like mass waving of the White Flag.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Yes, what is needed are the heroic efforts of the Chinese, which are now being applied assiduously in places such as Italy, Spain, and France, having been seen to work in a number of countries now.

  69. DennisA
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I would be happy to go back into my village pub tomorrow if it were open. and I would be happy to be served without silly restrictions. It very much depends on the local diosease situation.

  70. JoolsB
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I run a small b & b from our farmhouse here in Cornwall offering just two rooms from April to October. Being a waspi woman denied my pension and my husband seeing his private pension decimated after the 2008 crash, we rely on this income greatly not least to help support our son doing 5th year medicine at Cambridge as the Government in their wisdom only give medics in their final years a reduced maintenance loan of less than £2,000 a year to live on when his rent alone is over £7,000.

    I have received no income since October and need to be allowed to start earning again. I have already had to cancel or have had cancelled at great cost all April, May and June bookings but still have many bookings for July to October and am still getting new bookings from Brits who are obviously willing to travel if allowed. Should I carry on taking these much needed bookings or not? What we need is some much needed clarity from the Government so we can plan ahead. I need to know if I can honour these bookings.

    The Government says hospitality won’t be allowed to open before at least 4th July but as usual are very vague and why 4th July? Why not 1st July? I have a booking due to arrive on 2nd July worth over £1,000. Do I cancel this much needed income for the sake of two days because of what seems like some arbitrary date plucked out of the air?

    The a government seem clueless and unfortunately as a result many in the hospitality industry and other industries will not survive.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 5:17 am | Permalink

      The government, and Johnson have had their first big test. To me the general consensus is that it has failed.

  71. ChrisS
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    As a 68 year-old with an underlying health condition, albeit having just had a complete check over and found to be in very good overall health, my wife and I won’t be taking any risks this summer. Fortunately living near the sea in Dorset we don’t need to go far and certainly don’t need to stay in a hotel to enjoy the countryside.

    While our second son is a Head Chef in a Bournemouth restaurant that is closed, we understand the dire straits that the sector is in but, nevertheless, we won’t be going into any restaurant or pub until there is a vaccine that is proven to be effective. I suspect many people in our position will do the same. We might have a drink in a pub garden but that would be all.

    We have already had to cancel a driving trip to Holland and Germany this month and a motorcycling tour of the Alps with a friend in mid-June. As soon as we are able we look forward to resuming usual pattern of touring holidays across Europe but, again, not until there is an effective vaccine. It just doesn’t seem worth the risk

  72. Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    According to Downing St. “No quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France at this stage” , so since the French borders are largely un-policed the quarantine is pointless.

    Add to this the obvious lack of medical support and PPE provided to care home staff and one wonders what is going on at govt level. We appears to be running in second place behind the USA in terms of deaths from the Wuhan Flu.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      There are 8 western countries ahead of the USA in death rates.

      The BBC loves reporting that it has the highest number of deaths but per million of population it is ranked about ninth.

      The whole of the USA’s death rates is practically identical to the whole of the EU’s.

      There are four EU nations ahead of us and they are not as densely populated as us, nor are they global transport hubs.

  73. MickN
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    There is a lot being made of how we can pay the bill for this virus that I have seen at various amounts around 300 billion.
    I have a few suggestions. What about cancelling Heathrow expansion, Hinkley point, HS2,
    our payments to the EU to include their plucked out of the air 39 billion figure for having the audacity to leave, and the 15 billion that we currently hand out in foreign aid. That should make a big hole in it if it doesn’t cover it completely.

    • Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      We can cut ‘The State’ in half, that will save the rest, and release state employees into the productive sector. Did you see that Transport for London spends £600 million a month! Boy are they overpaid or what!

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      MickN,

      Arbitrarily stopping supply of capital projects (even though I don’t agree with Heathrow expansion) alongside the already stopped supply does not solve anything, you would just be reducing the economy further. I think the question is the balance between the Ways and Means facility being interpreted as uncontrolled amount of creation/printing such that no one will except the GBP vs. increased borrowing leading to specific groups / countries having a call on the UK’s productive assets hence reducing life quality of most in UK. Randomly stopping capital project supply does not address this.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        typo: accept not except

  74. Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Perhaps you could address, for our benefit, the ever-changing justifications provided by the government for the lockdown:
    1. First, we were told it was needed to prevent a giant spike in cases overwhelming the NHS. Vast new hospital capacity was added (‘Nightingale hospitals’). No such spike occurred and the additional capacity proved to be redundant. (It should be noted that the virus had been spreading longer than we thought prior to lockdown).
    2. Then, we were told it was because of a wave of death. As the fatality rates show, outside of care homes, the fatality rates have been very low (and would be much lower if the government would run meaningful antibody tests and publish the results / extrapolations).
    3. Now we are being told it is to somehow prevent the virus form returning, or some other less than clear reasoning.

    I think the country needs to know exactly what it is being protected from here and what is the justification for the suspension of its ancient rights and liberties. It is not at all clear what the end point is.

    Many Thanks,

    Nearside Forehand

  75. Dave
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I totally agree with Roger Phillips’ comment.

    I have postponed my May self-catering accommodation on a remote Somerset (my home county and I plan to visit my nonagenarian Aunt who has just had an operation) camp site from May until the middle of August. The accommodation is also separate on the site and I do not need to use any facilities so I can self-isolate easily. As a Widower, I can safely drive down there from Lancashire with my dog and there should be no issues.

    I only hope that the village pub has survived this unnecessary trashing of our economy and will be open by then.

  76. Stred
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Mike Wroe had a good idea yesterday. People under 55 who are at little risk could use pubs in the evening, providing that they don’t live with older people and the two keep apart. The Dutch idea of putting tables outside in an open greenhouse with hot food served on an oar would work for older customers. This could take the form of polycarbonate screens close to tables and roof with an open end. This would also make the tables usable in bad weather. The chairs and tables would have to be cleaned by steam or disinfectant every time customers changed. Draft beer would be risky and canned or bottled would be sold.
    The idea of an outside multiple pissoir would also be necessary.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      We never had to do this for seasonal flu, which statistics have demonstrated, has death rates on a par with COVID-19. It is no coincidence that the UK government took COVID-19 off their list of High Consequence Infections Diseases on March 19th, and the reasons given included “the relatively low death rate”.

  77. Ed M
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I would definitely go into a large pub where it was more about good food than heavy boozing as heavy drinkers are going to be less conscious of social-distancing safety rules.

    I would definitely like to go on holiday to Cornwall this year, if allowed, now more than ever, in order to enjoy myself but also to try and inject some of my money into the local Cornish economy.

    • Ed M
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      I am 100% happy to stay in the UK to spend my money on holidays – except to visit a couple of people abroad for a short while – but not to go on holiday in Europe or further afield. The UK has a tonne of things for the traveller and holiday-maker to enjoy.

      We need to promote UK more. For example, Wales has the most beautiful beaches I’ve been anyway. Then there are Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire which for me was one of the best natural-landscape finds in my life. They’re beautiful rocks – stunning. I really enjoyed travelling around Yorkshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire – including the hospitality of the people. There are soooo many fascinating and wonderful places to visit in the UK. Including London – ‘Anyone’s whose tired of London is tired of life’ – Oscar Wilde – very true I think). And I look forward to visiting Windsor – sounds fascinating. Loads more. We need to promote the UK more.

      • Ed M
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Everyone should read ‘Three Men in a Book’ very funny but beautiful book too – very poetic in places. And walk down The Thames (buying lunch and a pint in the lovely pubs along the way. Perhaps walking all the way up to wonderful Oxford, staying overnight in many of the great pub hotels along the way). And visit Hampton Court Palace and so on. And eat delicious chocolates made in the UK. Spoil yourself with a beautifully-made shirt in Saville Row. Go for a delicious meal in Chinatown. Browse the wonderful London book shops. Walk up Little Venice and enjoy a coffee and cake or two.

        We need to get out there. Spend money. Support the UK economy. Lots of interesting and enjoyable ways to do that.

  78. villaking
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I very much hope, probably in vain, that our freedom can be restored as soon as possible and people can make their own choices in life. I would visit a pub now and holiday in the UK or abroad now if I could and very much resent my liberty being stolen. I would like life to be exactly as it was before this ridiculous lockdown and do not want to sit two metres apart from my friends in the pub. I believe those that are scared should be free to stay at home for the rest of their lives if they choose but those of us who are not should never be subject to these Maoist controls. Any business forced to close by the government should be fully compensated for as long as the imposition applies. To give you some idea of the demographics for your enquiry, I am middle aged, reasonably healthy and in contrast to most who take my view on this I am a remainer and do not vote Tory

    • Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Including those businesses ‘constructively’ forced to close – bit like constructive dismissal as opposed to explicit. If their business model is no longer viable under the dictated conditions, so that they cannot open and take on liabilities which their reduced turnover cannot support, they must be funded until we are all free!

  79. Dave Ward
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    “It is also a question of what business model can these enterprises come up with to be compliant in an age of social distancing”

    Having recently purchased a motorhome (on reflection, probably the worst decision I’ve ever made), I had been looking forward to visiting some of the UK’s industrial heritage museums and railways in my retirement. How are any of them supposed to operate with a 2mt distancing rule? Try firing and driving a steam loco, for instance. Virtually all these enterprises are charities and rely heavily on older people, and even if those volunteers are prepared to resume (and I suspect most are), will the respective management take that risk?

    The TV series filmed at the North Yorkshire Steam Railway showed that large, organised events, and steam “Specials” such as the Pullman Dining service are a crucial source of income. These will be impossible to run unless this arbitrary ruling is relaxed. Even basic facilities such as toilets, cafes or restaurants – which visitors expect – will become casualties. One of the government’s own advisors pointed out last week that the 2mt figure was “plucked out of the air”, and has no scientific basis. The WHO guideline is 1mt, and some other countries are using 1.5mt, while Denmark has just relaxed from 2 to 1mt.

    And from my own viewpoint, how many campsites will re-open, even if allowed to do so? Whilst in practice it shouldn’t be difficult to keep 2mt apart at most sites, any communal areas such as showers, washing facilities and toilets are likely to be badly affected. It’s not just the obvious businesses that are going to be decimated if this situation carries on for months…

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      We need to get used to the idea that things are never going to be the same again.

      The old country is gone.

      • Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        What! And without a shot being fired! Not on your bloody life!

      • UK Qanon
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        The old country vasnished many many years ago. The 60s were the start of the demise.

  80. Caterpillar
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Aside:-

    Now that we hear of the Roche antibody test with false negative at zero and false positive at 0.002, when will Govt ensure that historic prevalence sampling has been done in a few of the hotspots overlapping with accurate death records. If the tests are there then this should be a day’s work, it won’t be that many of the tests.

    We commoners deserve to know the prevalence and the risks, and not kept in the dark and addressed like four year olds anymore. Don’t avoid telling us the truth by using all tests on the frontline – the immediate sampling to produce accurate data is vastly more important.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      nobody will tell you the stats of false negatives, and false positives to date.
      An alarming admission of the poor accuracy of testing, and even the varied swab taking.

  81. glen cullen
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Talk about mission drift

    First it was all about washing hands
    Then it was about ventilators in ICU
    Then it was about PPE for nurses and doctors
    Then it was about saving the NHS
    Then it was about staying at home and not using the NHS
    Then it was about the deaths in London
    Then it was about testing
    Then it was about the ‘R’ number
    Then it was about deaths in care homes
    Then it was about 2m social distance
    Then it was about antibodies
    Then it was about teachers returning to work
    Then it was about the asymmetric (unknown) carries

    Whether the covid-19 symptoms are mild or flu like or the black death plague the management of its spread has been about control and fear

    Of those who contract the covid-19 virus (230,000) the death rate is @ 1.2% (source BBC) most cases 60yrs +

    So why are we economically destroying the country ?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      It’s all about headline grabbing, not about actually getting the job of eradicating this scourge done.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        correct we need leadership not slogans

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      glen our government are allowing the media to control the message and put out endless fear.

      Today, the latest mission is diabetes – 26% of all covid19 deaths suffered from diabetes. Terrifying anyone with diabetes now without other facts such as:
      How many of those that died from diabetes had type 1 or the more common problem type 2;
      How many of those with type 2 were also overweight BMI 25-29.9 or obese 30+; What % were workers under the age of 65;
      What % were under the age of 45;
      What level was their diabetes 7 mmol/L to 10 and 11mmol/L or higher?

      Giving diabetics this fear could cause them to become more sedentary, stop them from taking walking exercise outside sufficient to keep their weight in check and will cause more deaths. I know previous obese diabetics that have come out of the diabetic risk category by changing their level of exercise and the food they eat it is very important that the news outlets give the full set of risk factors now they’ve kicked the hornets nest on this.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        a-tracy…you’re bang on

    • Treacle
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      We are destroying the country because the BBC, the Guardian and the Daily Mail demand it. There is no other reason.

  82. Ed M
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    The UK is a magical place. Lots of interesting things, history, humorous people, beautiful landscape. We need to get this across instead of people thinking they have to find the magic abroad. And to spend our money too whilst we seek and enjoy the magic of The UK. Let’s have more and better advertising promoting the magic of the UK.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think Martin is listening.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Coo-ee!

        • Fred H
          Posted May 15, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          so you woke up! Any comment about the magic?

  83. Ed M
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    ‘Magic’ as in charming / beautiful. Not the other kind of ‘magic’ of witches and broomsticks etc

  84. John
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I am 71 years old and healthy thank goodness. I have always thought lockdown was stupid and would bankrupt the country. We have had viruses before and not closed the economy. Get the country back to work now and admit that it was wrong to close it. Life is a risk and you have to take chance, thankfully it mostly leaves the young alone.

  85. Neil
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I would go to a restaurant tomorrow if open – but only if it did not have ridiculous screens spoiling the ambience. Eating out is meant to be an experience. It’s worth noting that bars and restaurants won’t be able to justify opening with only 30% occupancy.

  86. Stred
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    The NHS chiefs keep emphasising the importance of their R or rate of infection. This is their calculated rate for the whole of England and Wales. The rate could be just below 1 or perhaps half of this. Presumably, now that hospitals without testing have created a second epidemic in care homes without ppe, the R has remained higher than it would have been. But this doesn’t take into account that the unfortunate residents can only pass the disease on to each other and the staff. If the staff are now to be regularly tested then the only route of transmission to their families will not occur, reducing R. Why are they basing the decision to bankrupt various businesses on an R which will not be applicable to the most of the country?

  87. Original Chris
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    In answer to your questions, Sir John, yes, I would go to a pub/restaurant if it opened soon if we could sit outside.
    The changes I would like are great improvements to cleaning procedures. Many restaurants and pubs could do with better procedures anyway,and that applies to the more expensive places too.

    Yes I would consider taking a holiday in the UK later this year but would plan carefully and take common sense precautions.

    On a different note, the new shopping development in Bracknell, The Lexicon, and the remnants of the other shopping complexes there, which have been modified to fit in with the new development, will take an enormous hit from lockdown. The Lexicon is a huge pedestrianised complex, with an astonishing number of restaurants and coffee shops (many empty before CV), and with one very expensive department store, full of designer clothes and cosmetics, and a run of the mill M and S. The business rates are very high, as are parking charges. All multistorey too. Obviously no on street parking nor facilities for half hour free parking, so no possibility of popping into a shop quickly, but instead it is a major exercise going shopping there.

    There were already a very large number of empty shop units in the areas of the older developments in the town e.g. Charles Square, then Princess Square, and these are only going to increase dramatically, I fear.

    It had always struck me as a very unsafe/unwise business model for the redevelopment of Bracknell and now it seems the government reaction to the corona virus (with death rates equal to seasonal flu) has dealt what will be a terminal blow to so many of these new businesses in The Lexicon. The whole redevelopment of Bracknell may just turn out to have been a folly, due firstly to a fundamental lack of understanding of people’s shopping needs and patterns and the market they would be drawing on, secondly to a council charging far too much for business rates and parking, and thirdly to fate, the coronavirus. The last they could have done nothing about, but with regard to the first two factors they certainly could have done far better.

  88. Labour isn't working
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Labour Party opposition to people working will backfire on them. The British working class are correctly named.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      What has whatever might Labour want or not want got to do with anything?

      The Tories have a majority of eighty. They are politically indefeasible.

      They own every single law passed 100%.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Tell that to Joe Anderson and Andy Burnham and the Welsh Labour leader and Sadiq Khan for that matter.

  89. Rhoddas
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    There are a lot of questions to be asked about way its been handled. Now people have had a taste of sitting at home getting paid, if you think they’re going to go back to doing work at same rate as before, think again, have a right job getting people working again.

    They’ll be well happy sitting outside in the beer gardens getting trollied on furlough. Just keep deep cleaning the toilets.

  90. Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I’d go out to pubs and restaurants if they were open. This lockdown is a disaster which will blight people’s lives for years to come, all because of a new disease which is not dangerous for most people.

    I’d like to be allowed to decide what risks I am prepared to take for myself. I dislike being told what to do with the pretence that it’s for my own good.

  91. Javelin
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Holiday cottages could open if a week was left between visits. Cleaners could go in after a week and clean without fear of the virus. Visitors would be restricted to parks and beaches.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Javlin

      Makes some sense !

      Time to clean the accommodation properly, and for any of the missed parts for the potential virus spores to degenerate.

  92. Posted May 14, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    My cheapo foreign holiday (backpacking in Spain) this year is cancelled. I won’t be holidaying in the UK – much as I would like to – simply because the UK is too expensive. It would easily cost me double the amount here to do a long distance walking holiday, with mediocre food and our unreliable weather.

  93. Sharon Jagger
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Sorry – off topic

    In today’s Conservative Home Henry Hill says,”the Government has confirmed that there will now be border checks at three Northern Irish ports. In the event that UK ends up leaving the transition period without a high-alignment agreement, there is the serious prospect of this new border creating tangible barriers to trade within the United Kingdom.”

    Can Mr Redwood shed any light on this, and when was this agreed?

  94. a-tracy
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    All of these political shenanigans being set up right now by power-hungry Labour mayors and Labour leaders in Wales to harm Boris Leadership need addressing and quickly by Boris Johnson. The Labour Mayor of Manchester doesn’t speak for the whole of the North-West nor does the Liverpool Mayor get back in your boxes you weren’t elected by the North West region to represent us we never got a vote on you.

    Devolving decision making means just that, if those ‘Decision Makers’ in the Welsh Administration have the power to stop English people journeying into Wales then fine, publicise it and let’s have reciprocity no Welsh travelling into England, checks in Chester or Liverpool etc. and turn them around. This division that regional assemblies have caused with the English always being penalised and charged more such as student fees, prescriptions etc grates and to realise the dislike out there in Scotland and Wales for English people is getting a clear hearing now.

    If English people are going out now and are allowed to and we are trialling this new first step then we have a right to make OUR own decision too, those English people that don’t want to go out don’t have to.

  95. a-tracy
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    “London’s mayor has warned of ‘severe ramifications’ for public transport unless a government grant is approved.”

    How about “Pubs, restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions, theatres, art venues, office landlords, and many more compulsory closed down businesses have warned of ‘severe ramifications’ for all social and work activities unless government grants are approved for all – much more of this and no one will need the transport and more than half of you will be out of work anyway Mr Mayor! Oh, and your Council pensions can take a hit and should not get topped up by government or ratepayers – the same hit all private invested pensions are getting thwacked by.

  96. John E
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I see reports that singing and shouting greatly increase the transmission of the virus. For example the CDC reported a case in Washington state where one person infected more than fifty others at a choir practice, with two deaths. There was the case in South Korea where one or two people on a bar crawl infected a hundred.

    Basically we have to minimise exposure to crowds, so outdoor beer gardens could be fine, country pubs or restaurants with spaced out tables might be OK if they can turn a profit that way and if the experience is still enjoyable, but nightclubs or bars with loud music where people have to shout to be heard cannot possibly re-open this side of mass vaccination, i.e. for the foreseeable future.

  97. Diane
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I cancelled a 5 night UK hotel stay for May this year in the West Country & rebooked same for September. Also cancelled a one week UK holiday and rebooked for next year and a week’s European holiday, cancelled & rebooked for next year. This was done with ease & excellent cooperation from the businesses concerned & I am keen to continue to support. In terms of restaurants, I would not feel comfortable unless I could be assured of a reduction in restaurant seating capacity and the ability to be well spaced from others and I eat out frequently normally. Already comments have been made by some businesses stating that would not work & not economically viable. Similarly with coffee shops. From January this year, prior to lock down, I was seeking out larger cafes or store cafes which had a lot of space. Have also had to cancel theatre venues & would not be willing to attend theatre or cinema in the near future. Pubs with garden space would be acceptable with social distancing but would avoid pubs with limited or crowded spaces.

  98. DaveK
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    One possible solution for pubs may be to copy the Wetherspoons app model or as with the majority of other countries use waited service (with safety of staff in mind).

  99. David Brown
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I want to be able to holiday overseas especially to a hot country where sun and cheap food and beer is readily available eg Spain. I want to know the flight is quick and on time eg Ryan Air. This country is too cold too wet too expensive for a good cheap holiday.
    Over 10 million Brits go to Spain to holiday.
    UK holiday may be ok for older pensioners but younger people forget it.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      I think Sunak and Hancock’s destruction of the economy combined with The BoE’s playbook will drive GBP lower, the longer it goes on the more expensive that Spanish break will be.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        Plus the effect of that silly little vote in 2016, Cat.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 15, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

          Did you ask the Chinese to intervene – what with Cameron/May/ Johnson and Trump …..they could throw a spanner in the works. However it got out of hand?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Then you will have to hope that this country eradicates the virus just as Spain and the rest are determined to do.

      If not, then you will be quarantined when you get there.

      I think that that is what will happen, however.

  100. Ex-Tory
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    These are huge questions, but could I suggest that the first thing to do is to investigate the controversy which evidently exists among scientists about the benefits of social distancing at various distances.

    • Trial
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      It didn’t work for 32,000. However there are some us left. We should try try and try again

  101. matthu
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    When you read in the news today how an EU-funded comic – issued in 2012 as an educational tool – had predicted a deadly pandemic escaping China and even painted the European Union as the hero behind the world’s recovery… you realise that this whole scenario has been game-played in advance.

    The comic even describes attempts to cover up the leak from a Chinese laboratory, it tells of
    attempts to seize control of democracy by implementing draconian social distancing rules and scientists engineering phony vaccines.

    So not very far off to suggest we need to remain wary of a hidden (parallel) agenda here.

  102. Amanda
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    We have booked a holiday in Norfolk in November. I will be so disappointed if we cannot go. I just hope the place we have booked will survive this, which is the other consideration.

    With regard to days out, pub visits etc, we are itching to visit National Trust places asap, especially gardens (though appreciate toilet facilities could be part of the consideration, as well as the tea & coffee shops). We miss our favourite gastro pub, although we would probably give it a week or so before visiting – or maybe we would just pop in for a drink and sit outside in the sunshine.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Telling others how disappointed you might be will not change the facts.

      There seems to be no political will here to eradicate the virus, as there is in a long list of countries from New Zealand to Germany, on the other hand.

  103. Helen Smith
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Well, pubs can easily get people to text/message their orders, pay contactlessly and collect their drinks from a separate counter.

    B&Bs could cut communal areas completely, and screens sound a great idea for restaurants

  104. Dave
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Until we have some confidence that the virus wild fires have been extinguished, we won’t be eating out and we aren’t planning any holidays.

    When we see proper data as to where new cases are occurring, and you’ve put proper track and trace in place, or if new information comes to light, that will change. But until then, it’s a nope from these constituents.

    I am reasonably fit and healthy, but I don’t want to roll the covid dice. I know too many people who have lost family members to this disease.

  105. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    It is a sad state of affairs when people believe they cannot enjoy a holiday unless its involves air travel.

  106. Everhopeful
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Pubs have suffered horribly over the past years thanks to various legislations.
    No doubt all social engineering. Govt blown this way and that by pressure groups motivated by goodness know what!
    Anyway…no worries…this little lot will see them out.
    High Street has likewise been unashamedly targeted..and that looks to be working too.
    I read years ago that High Streets were to be emptied and used for housing …since govts are Hell bent on an ever expanding population.
    One might wonder how any govt dare do these thing…but then they say that a good shepherd knows his sheep…he is the one after all who takes them to slaughter.
    And to think govts are paid by us to look after our interests and well being!😂

  107. ed2
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    This will force most UK citizens to holiday in the UK.

    >
    Just like the Soviets, atleast they had Crimea up until 1958

    • Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      They have recovered the Crimea. Also beautiful Sochi, warm, elegant, 13% marginal tax rate. I might take my Christmas decorations next time…

  108. DaveK
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, until there is some fact based information we are done for.

    For example, how many people from the Cheltenham Festival caught it, how many of them died, how many of them have family and friends who’ve had it or died?

    What does the Diamond Princess situation show us? Possibly old figures, but 3,711 people in metal self-contained, air-conditioned metal box, eating 15 to a table. Over 700 tested positive, just under half didn’t know, 13 sadly passed away. Not forgetting the demographics and comorbidities.

    Are people considered asymptomatic forever?

    Are you safe at 2m, 1.5m, 1m or if you turn your back as you pass?

    As I predicted, the rough, mathematical manipulated R0 is being used as a tool for control. If you do not have the right info it’s about as much use as the climate sensitivity scam which gives results of no problem or we’re all doomed.

    I would have a gradual return for holidays, self catering, camping, caravans and Airbnb style accommodation without communal facilities other than a site shop. These can easily conform to SD Rules. B&B could become just B with room service for those unable to achieve SD. Hotels could act the same with SD in suitable restaurants and room services, staggered check in times and one way systems to avoid face to face contact with other guests and staff. Having an examination prior to any openings and much enhanced cleaning would be essential.

  109. NeverCrushedBrexit
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I would be interested to know how you would respond to some relaxation in these areas? Would you go to a pub or restaurant if they opened soon? What changes would you want them to make to handle the virus? Would you consider a week-end break or a holiday somewhere in England later this summer?

    I have underlying medical conditions.
    My family would not go to a pub or restaurant if they opened soon.

    No weekend break nor holiday (home or abroad) this year.

  110. M Davis
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I will deliberately go to the nearest pub just to show willing and support for them, even though I don’t usually frequent them these days..

  111. Oh dear
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    “Health minister Nadine Dorries and two other Tory MPs have been ordered to “check the validity” of social media posts before sharing them.

    Party bosses spoke to the MPs after they retweeted false allegations about Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.”
    Of course MPs, some, are still suffering from a dose of mass hysteria, yes mass hysteria, which started some time ago. Completely unable to focus.40,000 dead and they argue like little house sparrows fighting for one of many pieces of bread in wintertime. They have lost it. Gone. No use to man nor beast. No use to England.Their minds are ‘possessed’
    I wish you or Rees- Mogg were leader JR. Kipling ‘If’ has always comes to mind since the loopy-loop 3 year recycling of same, same same arguments. If you will forgive a pun from another tweet. I did it just now, automatically. Realising it and instant later 🙂
    Well, I know what, I, mean, so I have a majority of one.

  112. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I have been agitating for sometime for the garden-centres to reopen. My visit today? It was moderately busy but I was able to maintain social-distancing there much better than at my local supermarket. The centre was taking all the recommended anti-COVID precautions, including having the check-out staff behind Perspex. Stock-levels were good, with the exception of house-plants, which hadn’t made it over from Holland. Why was this? I suspect it was because the industry had learned about their release from lock-down on Sunday night, with the rest of the nation. If that is what happened, government needs to sharpen up and consider using what the military call ‘Warning Orders’. The quicker we get the economy moving again, the better.
    P.S. My local recycling centre is still operating at 25% capacity, having gold-plated their risk assessment.

  113. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    We have just heard that a friend of ours that has been in hospital for the last 6 weeks with a bad stroke has just been tested positive for Covid and can’t be transferred to the care home she was supposed to go to this week. Marvellous.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      Not sure what your point is. You would rather your friend didn’t get the treatment for 6 weeks that, presumably and hopefully, means a continued decent quality of life? Or that it should never have been possible for them to contract Covid in a hospital?

      I must admit I don’t know why the Nightingale hospitals are not used until they are full before ever thinking about treating a Covid patient in a hospital.

      Or why hotels weren’t requisitioned to treat Covid patients. Surely filling hospitals with Covid patients is just asking for trouble.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 5:16 am | Permalink

      My elderly distant relative went to hospital with a stroke six weeks back, caught CV19 in hospital, was discharged to a care home untested (perhaps infecting many others) then to his home untested with (with five other extended family infecting two of them) then taken back into hospital – finally tested then (positive) but died a day later.

      Surly this was an absurdly dangerous and incompetent? The NHS doing far more harm than good.

  114. mancunius
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    “Would you consider a week-end break or a holiday somewhere in England later this summer?”
    Via public transport – at the tender mercies of the unbridled rail unions??
    With no restaurants/pubs open? Having to spend even more time foraging and queueing for food and forced to cook every meal for oneself? Nothing open, apart from an overcrowded National Trust car park, and dirty looks and aggressive insults from the villagers as soon as they spot someone who’s ‘not local’?

    I’d sooner spend a week in lockdown in the city reading the more depressing works of Thomas Hardy while listening to Morrissey and watching an online Rothko installation on the web.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      don’t forget to have ample anti-depressants with you!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 15, 2020 at 5:18 am | Permalink

        I am told cold water swimming is a very good anti-depressant giving people a huge boost – But I am not that convinced. Plenty of cold water about in the UK though.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 15, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

          but cold water plunging can trigger a heart attack or muscle seizure. Be careful!

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Oh so you’re still on the fence then lol 😂

  115. ed2
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I remember driving through the Soviet Union thinking that if it had some decent pubs it wouldn’t be that bad. Open the pubs, save our culture!

  116. Fred H
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC.
    Possible new slogan:

    Stay Idle, Avoid NHS, Where’s Boris!

  117. ed2
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    36 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in just the last 8 weeks. Combined with the 5 million unemployed before this all began. That’s a 25% unemployment rate! That’s higher than the 24.9% peak in 1933 during the Great Depression!

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      When you think of the size of America that’s not so big I expect the U.K. will have about 10-15 million furloughed (without work) in May the Government won’t realise the full picture until the end of May.

  118. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Thinking about the hygiene element of virus transmission – the way glasses are washed in pubs – the way they let the spout delivering the beer down into the beer – the who knows what that goes on in the kitchen. Much as I love a pint in my local pubs, I won’t be in too much of a hurry to get back in there.

    Surely we need everyone in a town tested and those that have had the virus tattooed on their forehead and they can then visit pubs and cafes etc. The rest of us should have trackers fitted to make sure we don’t break the rules. Perhaps a nasty electric shock could be administered – like those awful things some morons use on dogs.

  119. Richard
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    BMJ article: ”“Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19… Only a third of the excess deaths seen in the community in England and Wales can be explained by covid-19, new data have shown.” https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1931

    • everyone knows
      Posted May 15, 2020 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      BMJ article: ”“Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19

      >
      It is a global euthanasia project. Too many old people the WEF says, not enough carers, so by making the self-employed go bust they can all be carers in the caring economy while the govts of the world help bring down the numbers.

  120. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    There seems to be an obsessive focus on this 2 metre social distancing nonsense. A professor said the other day that the chances of catching it whilst outside from someone else are so remote as to not be worth considering. Further that you need to be in a room with an infected person for about 15 minutes for the chance of transmission to become realistic. Surely masks and hand-washing are far more important – but there is no mention of them. Presumably because the government is incapable of ensuring everyone has a mask and an adequate supply of anti-viral handwash. Why hasn’t every open shop got a handwash dispenser as you go in. My local chemist has. But the local Co-op doesn’t. Why not? This is basic stuff.

  121. Mark
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    We can really only enjoy tourist attractions and entertainment outlets when we are free of restrictions on that enjoyment. That means we need to be able to make them virus free locations. Those who do not have the virus won’t infect others who also don’t have the virus.

    At the moment, provided you are virus free and don’t expose yourself to the virus while travelling, you could enjoy the beach at Aberystwyth, or a trip to various Scottish islands, all of which have had no reported cases at all for at least the past 7 days (in the case of Scottish islands, mostly back into mid April), at no risk to yourself or the local people.

    See the green areas on my new map of cases for England, Scotland and Wales:

    https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/URmRa/2/

  122. Mark
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    Perhaps I should point out that Germany is only re-imposing restrictions in areas with more than 50 cases per 100,000 – or 500 per million – in a week. In the UK, only Denbighshire would be under the cosh on that basis, at least without looking at smaller concentrations than Upper Tier Local Authorities. The German data is quite fine grained, as this map of Bavaria demonstrates:

    https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/rf5H5/22/

    It reports cases per 100,000, and the hover detail includes total cases (Corona-Fälle) to date, any change since the previous day, and deaths to date, and new deaths (Todesfälle). Most of Bavaria is open, but there are a couple of hotspots.

  123. Ian Wilson
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    If these enterprises and the general economy are not to be utterly devastated some risk will need to be taken. We don’t shut down the road network because 2,000 users a year die on it. When perhaps 70,000 died from Asian ‘flu the economy kept going.

    Why not allow under 60 s free access at their own choice to go to cafes etc? The evidence is now strong that with sensible precautions they would be at low risk

    • L Jones
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      ”Allow under 60s”…. Allow? This is getting beyond outrageous.
      Some people may be vulnerable to illness if they go out and about, at any age. That’s up to them. UP TO THEM. Nobody else. It is THEIR decision to take risk, if they wish – they’re not the carriers, the Typhoid Marys, which constantly seems to be implied.

      We are told that the most vulnerable are black/Asian people. So should they all be banged up too? Or would that be racist?

  124. Frances Truscott
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    I’m much more interested in when I can see and hug my adult children and significant other. None of them live near enough to wave at them in an open area. 11 million people in this country live alone. Solitary is considered torture for a reason.3.8 million people over 65 live alone . We may have wisdom and inner resources but even the healthiest of us don’t have endless time.

  125. ed2
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    would be interested to know how you would respond to some relaxation in these areas? Would you go to a pub or restaurant if they opened soon?

    >
    As I live alone and do not see anyone, I decided months ago to do everything I can to try to catch this virus but it remains elusive to us common folk, sure old people are dying of something, probably a seasonal coronavirus but I never give it a moments thought (I do not believe it exists) and would eat in a pub or restaurant tommorow. This is all absolute lunacy to me.

  126. ed2
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Andy told me months ago that I should be scared lol, and that I would know loved ones who had died from it, well here we are all these months later and I dont even know anyone who knows anyone who has had it.

  127. Please releaseme
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Not a constituent but a fan mostly. I would go to pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and shopping malls as soon as they open. I don’t care about social distancing but if we have to why not use Lower limits rather than our own arbitrary ones as this would ease everything socially, in offices and manufacturing. I am over 65, no illnesses but high BMI. Enjoying life and protecting the economy are essential. Doing my bit by shopping locally, trying to buy British (not easy to work out or access what I want ). Keep the pressure up to save the economy and make what’s left of my life worth living. Am sick of hearing about the “science” as comprehensively discredited. Think Sweden.

  128. everyone knows
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    What is everyone doing tonight? Going to the Theatre? We used to have a vibrant civilization, even though I didn’t go out much I liked the feeling that I could.

  129. everyone knows
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I want the joy of a friendly bar in a crowded pub back and back for good, with this never to be repeated.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page