Jay Rayner criticises ‘staggeringly reckless’ virus response
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Jay Rayner criticises ‘staggeringly reckless’ virus response

Journalist criticises Boris Johnson's policy on stopping the infection over its impact on the entertainment and hospitality industry

Jay Rayner
Jay Rayner

Food critic Jay Rayner has hit out at the government’s coronavirus response as being “staggeringly reckless” for the hospitality industry.

This comes after Boris Johnson unveiled unprecedented measures to try to control the spread of Covid-19, calling on people to stay away from pubs, clubs and theatres and to avoid all non-essential contacts and travel.

Key figures in the hospitality industry criticised the PM over the policy, with industry leaders warning firms will go out of business without urgent state help to get through the next few months.

Taking to Twitter, Jay Rayner said: “Let me add my voice to the justifiably outraged clamour of those furious at the govt for insisting hospitality and entertainment industries shut down without legally mandating them to do so, meaning they can’t claim insurance. Staggeringly reckless.”

“I’ve spent the day working with producers and theatres postponing and cancelling shows because it’s the right thing to do. Their reward? A shattered business, because Johnson et al are thinking more about big finance than peoples’ livelihoods.”

Labour’s Keir Starmer responded to Rayner, quote-tweeting his post, saying: “These concerns are reflected across the hospitality, entertainment and arts sectors. Such important parts of our economy and the people who work in them must not be put in this position. This afternoon the Chancellor must rectify this.”

On Monday evening, it was announced that the Jewish community’s cultural centre, JW3, was closing its doors amid the pandemic.

Its CEO Raymond Simonson took to Facebook saying

“It’s not been something we’ve been taking lightly, “it’s not something we’ve wanted to do”, as he urged supporters to turn down refunds for cancelled events and donate it to the centre.

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