SHADOW Chancellor Anneliese Dodds paid a virtual visit to a Copenhagen Street Belgian beer cafe to discuss the issues facing those in the hospitality industry because of Covid-19.
The Labour MP for Oxford, who became the first woman to hold the office of shadow chancellor when she was appointed by Sir Keir Starmer in April, met TripelB owner Craig Finn and some of his staff in an online chat last week.
TripelB, like many other businesses in the hospitality sector, has been closed since March and is awaiting guidance on when it will be allowed to reopen and what social distancing rules it will need to comply with.
Over the Zoom call, Ms Dodds discussed some of the practical issues which need to be confronted before that can happen and reiterated her belief wider reopening of premises in Worcester and across the country can only happen when an effective test, track and trace system has been implemented.
“The things we could really do with clarity on are, obviously, an opening date. Then we need clarity on whether PPE is required, we need clarity on what distancing measures are required. It needs to be unambiguous,” Mr Finn said.
Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds said: “We’ve got to be guided by the science around whether the two-metre rule stays.
“And if there’s going to be any change we need to make sure we’ve got that test, track, isolate system in place. Because then we’ll be able to pinpoint where any additional breakout has come from and quickly deal with it.
“It’s what other countries have, and they have been able to go back to having people in their cafes, restaurants and bars.
“But the absolute worst-case scenario would be if we saw reopening that was then followed by reimposition of lockdown. I think would have a more permanent impact on customers’ willingness to go into many businesses. It would be so, so damaging,” she added.