Tom Kerridge warns 'restaurants will crumble' under new Covid rules

Star chef Tom Kerridge warns ‘restaurants will crumble’ under new Covid rules as he reveals over 650 cancellations at one of his restaurants and says government MUST help hospitality industry stay afloat amid fears of New Year lockdown

  • Star chef Tom Kerridge has revealed one restaurant faced 650 cancellations
  • Britons appear to be locking themselves down in the run up to Christmas Day
  • Mr Kerridge shared a video of all the table bookings that were cancelled
  • Cases of the Covid-19 strain Omicron are continuing to rise across the country 

Star chef Tom Kerridge has warned ‘restaurants will crumble’ under new Covid-19 rules as he revealed 654 cancellations at one of his eateries.

The English Michelin-starred chef, 48, asked ‘what will the government do to support the hospitality industry’ as he called for ‘help’ amid growing fears of a potential New Year lockdown.

Alongside the post Mr Kerridge shared a video showing printed out pages filled with 176 table cancellations – as Britons put themselves into a lockdown to spare themselves from catching Covid-19 in the run up to Christmas Day.

The Government has already come under pressure to increase the support it is providing to hospitality businesses after some saw festive bookings ‘disappear overnight’ after the introduction of ‘Plan B’ restrictions to tackle Omicron.   

One London hotel told MailOnline it was expecting £100,000 worth of losses from cancelled events, rooms and covers – and said many staff were fearing for their jobs given the extent the industry relies on a lucrative Christmas period. 

Tom Kerridge (pictured), 48, asked ‘what will the government do to support the hospitality industry’ as he called for ‘help’ amid growing fears of a potential New Year lockdown


Alongside the post Mr Kerridge shared a video showing printed out pages filled with 176 table cancellations – as Britons put themselves into a lockdown in the run up to Christmas Day

Last year the Hospitality sector was supported through Government grants, a reduction in business rates and furlough for staff. Councils handed more than £11 billion to 880,000 small businesses in 2020 – but this Christmas bosses have been left with nothing.  

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is prepared to loosen the money taps again if ministers decide closures are necessary, according to a Treasury source, although they insisted this does not mean further restrictions were now more likely.  

‘If we do get to a position where we are telling businesses that they have to shut their doors then it is not unreasonable for them to expect additional government support,’ the source told The Times. 

‘That could mean a return to the furlough scheme but depending on what, if any, further restrictions are necessary there might be other ways of providing that support.’ 

In a trading update, Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin warned government restrictions could push it into a loss in the first six months of the year.   

The nation was heading towards ‘a lockdown by stealth’, he added. 

On Instagram last night, Mr Kerridge penned: ‘So, here we are…. This is the list of cancellations taken in one of our restaurants in the past six days…. 654 guests.

‘I completely understand why and have no problem with them letting us know. Public health is THE most important thing. 

‘The problem is what will the government do to support the hospitality industry? Many places are going to crumble without help…. And before some gammon faced idiot says ‘you can afford it fat lad!’ ….. yes I probably can, but this isn’t about me or my restaurants. It’s about our industry and peoples livelihoods.’ 

On Instagram last night, Mr Kerridge penned: ‘So, here we are…. This is the list of cancellations taken in one of our restaurants in the past six days…. 654 guests’

BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Nihal Arthanayake revealed he had to cancel a table amid the dramatic spread of the Omicron variant

Pictured above is the current pace of the booster programme (green bars) and how it will have to ramp up to hit the million jabs a day target (red bars). NHS bosses warn scaling up the programme will be ‘incredibly difficult’

According to NHS data, many older age groups who have been eligible to get a Covid booster since September still have double digit percentage figures of people who are yet to get a third dose

BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Nihal Arthanayake revealed he had to cancel a table amid the dramatic spread of the Omicron variant. 

He said: ‘We had to cancel a table for eight because half of the people were in households where Covid was present. We were all gutted.’

Meanwhile, Strictly Come Dancing’s Ugo Monye offered to help out and said: ‘Big love brother. Monday night if you have a reservation in London town I’ll take it.’

Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing said: ‘Tom sending you and everyone in the industry love and support over this period.’

GBBO winner Candice Brown – who runs the Green Man pub in Eversholt, Beds – added: ‘It’s a f*****g nightmare. We’ve had at least 40 cancel today. I’m terrified for this and next week. Yet we are supposed to carry on.’

Raymond Blanc described the situation as ‘carnage’. He added: ‘I know my dear friend, is the very same in Brasserie Blanc. It’s carnage and we all hope that the Government will help the industry.’

Mask wearing in public places and Covid passes were voted in last night as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Plan B measures, but pubs and restaurants can still operate as normal.

Christmas is the most lucrative time of the year for pubs and restaurants, but trade body UK Hospitality forecasts that takings will be down as much as 40 per cent in parts of central London. 

Data it released from Monday to Sunday of last week showed a 13 per cent drop in trade and a 15 per cent increase in cancellations across the country when compared with pre-pandemic levels, the Guardian reported.  

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