MAGAZINE

As we go to print, a rather worrying potential pandemic development has emerged. The Telegraph has reported that takeaway services in England could be banned, with one source saying: “The general feedback is that click-and-collect is not working. People aren’t wearing masks in queues. People are too close together.”

Hopefully this will not come to fruition. A pattern seems to have emerged whereby proposals such as this are leaked to the press to be used as a sounding before actually being implemented (or not). As much as it goes without saying that we must do all we can to help prevent the spread of the virus, banning takeaway services would be a huge blow to a sector that is already set up to provide them and has taken so many precautions to make their services even safer.

A saving grace may come from the fact that England is already in its biggest lockdown since the one of spring last year. Under these circumstances, the public’s appetite for one of the few treats currently allowed will likely be larger than for a new restriction that would make this the toughest set of rules we have experienced yet.

The hope is that, at worst, we will follow Scotland, who have just announced that takeaways can continue, but that they must be served through a door or a hatch. Otherwise, it will be much more than merely the customers that is suddenly out in the cold.