The Leisure Sector – A Personal Perspective

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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.

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MrYan
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MrYan

Been to a pub for a sit down meal on Saturday that was very busy. Not really any different to before the lockdown – just asking people to keep sensible distances. Also a restaurant on Tuesday where they have halved the number of covers to meet guidelines which was still busy. Not everyone is so concerned about a flu that most won’t even notice. I’d rather support places I already frequented to try to help them stay in business. Better still if there is some assistance towards the costs (either to me in reduced VAT and/or £10 or them pocketing… Read more »

John B
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John B

‘ Better still if there is some assistance towards the costs (either to me in reduced VAT and/or £10 or them pocketing it themselves).’

So you think you are better off not paying it at the table but instead paying it in tax?

+£10 -£10 = £0.

How easily people are duped.

MrYan
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MrYan

I prefer the business owner to get first dibs on it rather than the taxman/government.

Bloke in North Dorset
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Bloke in North Dorset

A lot of these measures gimmicks may be gimmicks but they are aimed at building confidence after Project Fear 2 (Covid 19 edition) worked far better than anyone expected.

As someone says below, its about trying to build confidence in the general public.

That said, Stephen Bush of the New Statesman is correct when he says the government can’t have it both ways by telling people to work at home and use restaurants and pubs, visit places but not use public transport etc.

Tim the Coder
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Tim the Coder

Vaccine?
The common cold is also a corona virus, and we’ve had a vaccine for that for how long?
Oh.
Be nice if there was a cheap and safe Covid vaccine, but it may be a very long time in coming.
And given Gubmint statements about evil profiteers, what drug company wants the odium?

Bloke on M4
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Bloke on M4

I’m not saying we need one, but if we don’t, the other options are this sort of lockdown or accepting it as a normal thing.

Oswald Thake
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Oswald Thake

There’ll be no vaccine. Oh, they may cobble something up and rely on the Placebo Effect; stranger thing have happened, and the mind’s influence on the body is not well understood. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the inevitable Royal Commission of Enquiry, headed by ‘a safe pair of hands’, of course.

John B
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John B

There are ‘flu vaccines too, but more variations than vaccines so each year it is a lottery as to whether the right vaccines have been prepared. Each year thousands die of ‘flu despite vaccination. Why do the dedicated-followers-of-science think Covid-19 is going to be any different to other coronaviruses, and assume it will not mutate? Of course lot of lobbying from Big Pharma because vaccines = megabucks. The political class still don’t understand the virus, they think it is like Smallpox and can be eradicated. It can’t be. Spanish ‘flu still circulates despite decades of vaccination. It is only dangerous… Read more »

thefat tomato
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thefat tomato

Vaccines do not equal megabucks, actually vaccine research has mostly been abandoned because the costs are so extreme and the revenues so minimal.
What the political/media understand or do not understand is irrelevant.
SARS CoV1 has ceased to exist, it burned itself out, there are undoubtedly thousands of corona viruses which have burned themselves out without anybody noticing.

Spike
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Spike

The original lockdown was 2 weeks to delay the onset because Imperial College declared that our hospitals and morgues have been overrun. The goal now is total eradication of this invasive species (or airtight prevention via vaccine). Tim, you have bought the jive that we must live under martial law forever until our dictators can ensure that no one catches this chest cold! This was not only “moving the goalposts” but a total repudiation of the US concept of limited government with enumerated powers!

Bloke in Scotland
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Bloke in Scotland

Some points about the scheme in no particular order: – our author is not the target audience for this: it’s aimed at the Nandos crowd to which £10 per person would be a significant incentive and would actually represent close to 50% of the bill. They’re also less likely to be worried about coronavirus because they’re not (yet) in any of the risk groups. – restricting it to the start of the week is actually a very good idea: the general model in casual dining is that the place makes little money (and might even make a loss) at the… Read more »

Bloke on M4
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Bloke on M4

Some excellent points there. I think the 3rd point might be most valid, that it gets things spun up.

You’re right I’m not really this crowd. I bemoan the decline of home cooking, the end of dinner parties and the Jamie Oliver tendency of restaurants with humorous menus, packaged food, served on bits of wood. I want austere waiters, white table cloths, plates and something that takes some skill.

Spike
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Spike

New Hampshire’s governor has strangled the state’s crucial hospitality and tourism sectors, but is polling 87% for “keeping us safe” and not quite being as doctrinaire as our neighbors. We have the only organized baseball in 150 miles where fans are finally allowed in, but you are not to take off your mask until you are at your seat (alone) (and separated from other fans by at least one tier). Fun? Who said it was going to be fun? These tin gods don’t understand hospitality; they understand statistics – and cover-your-ass.

john77
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john77

New Hampshire has more than three times the deaths per million of Vermont or Maine. So “keeping you safe” is a highly debatable claim.

Spike
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Spike

Instead comparing us to Massachusetts, our much more significant southern neighbor, would tell a drastically different story. In any case, I’ll take my chances, as I do every flu season.

dodgy geezer
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dodgy geezer

What a shame that treatment with HCQ became politically incorrect!

Because a good way to lower fear of COVID would be to say that we now have a better treatment for it. …

Boganboy
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Boganboy

Had Trump only said it shouldn’t be used because it’d been invented by people of colour, it’d probably be being pushed by the entire woke establishment.