The Johnson government has signalled plans to hit pubs and restaurants with even stricter Covid restrictions, citing hospitality as the largest incubator of infection. But the latest report by Public Health England (PHE) clearly shows is it not - in fact, it isn't even in the Top 3. The real source of the current spike in infections is educational and workplace settings.
Research by the @ToryFibs Twitter account has revealed that far from being the top hotspot for infection, the hospitality sector actually accounted for just 4% of new infections over the last 4 weeks, while education and workplace settings added up to a whopping 56%. Care homes accounted for a further 26%.
PHE's report shows similar levels for the last week, with hospitality settings coming a distant 6th in terms of reported infections. Education topped the ranking with 325 incidents, followed by 216 from workplace settings and 172 from care homes. Hospitality reported just 30 incidents. Yet thousands of landlords and restaurateurs are living in dread of further restrictions which for many will threaten their livelihoods and could see their businesses go under completely.
On BBC Breakfast this morning, business minister and today's hapless government mouthpiece, a very uncomfortable looking Nadhim Zahawi, claimed that hospitality accounted for 30% of new infections - which according to the government's own published data, is clearly not the case. And yet they continue to push the 'blame it on the drinkers' line, rather than accept the cause is overwhelmingly their reckless decision to force people back to unsafe offices and unsafe schools and universities.
The question is, does the government believe the UK population is too stupid to read and digest the data, and will simply swallow whatever they are fed, or is this yet another example of the staggering incompetence that has characterised their entire handling of the pandemic.
Credit to @ToryFibs for the research and the pie chart graphic.