‘Significant proportion’ of coronavirus exposure is in hospitality sector, Downing Street warns

A “significant proportion” of coronavirus exposure is in the hospitality sector, Downing Street has warned.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman made the comment the day after Nicola Sturgeon announced a draconian two-week ban on selling alcohol inside pubs in Scotland.

It also comes after a number of press reports on Thursday that pubs and restaurants could shut across parts of England within days.

The spokesman told a briefing of Westminster journalists: “It is the case that early data does suggest that a significant proportion of exposure to the virus is seen in the hospitality sector and that that is even more pronounced in younger age groups where we have been seeing the most rapid rise in infections.

“The data is new and we will continue to gather evidence and review it.”

He made the comments when asked whether the Government had knew the proportion of transmissions associated with hospitality.

Yesterday Scotland’s First Minister Ms Sturgeon outlined why indoor hospitality is a place where it is easy for the virus to spread as she announced her pubs crackdown.

It was revealed that the R value rose above one about three weeks after pubs opened and just over 20 per cent of people recently infected report having been to a pub, restaurant or café in the preceding week.

Pressed on whether the 20 per cent figure was correct, the PM’s spokesman said: “Until DHSC [Department of Health and Social Care] are in a position to put that in the public domain. I’ll just point you back to what I’ve said which is that the early data does suggest that a significant proportion of the exposure to the virus is in the hospitality sector.”

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