From our Swindon Correspondent:
Without going into depth on the budget changes yesterday, is much of this going to actually work? A discount scheme for a month, operating when almost no-one goes to a restaurant (and many are closed on Mondays anyway), a VAT cut for non-alcoholic drinks?
I can only look at this personally, but I just generally don’t feel like going and doing the eating/drinking/theme park leisure thing much because screens, masks, social distancing etc all rather degrade the experience to the point where I’d rather not bother. It’s not fun.
We were planning to take our extended family out for dinner, for our wedding anniversary, but my niece and my father are both in high risk groups, so it’s out of the question, so the whole thing has been abandoned. We’ll still go out as a family, but it still feels like something I don’t want to do much. I don’t particularly want to go shopping in one-way systems, or whatever measures heritage sites are going to impose.
Until we either let the virus do its worst, or get a vaccine, I don’t think this is going to work. I don’t think trying to help by tinkering around the edges is going to shift people much. And this isn’t short term. What’s the best estimate on a vaccine?
It’s going to hurt people in the leisure sector, but if it’s going to be over a year, just let the market do its thing. Stop kidding people and maybe get waitresses finding something else to do. I don’t think the whole sector is dead, but maybe we just have a lot less places. If people aren’t going out, they might be spending money in other ways. Reports I’m hearing from wine merchants are that they’re doing very well – people aren’t drinking out, so drinking at home. I’ll be sending champagne to my family to join us in a Zoom toast – someone’s got to do that.