Hospitality sites could act as UK vaccination hubs

5th January, 2021 by Owen Bellwood

Bars and pubs could assist in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines by offering the use of their closed venues, trade group UK Hospitality has said.

The UK government hopes to administer 13.9 million vaccinations by the middle of February

The UK began inoculating people against Covid-19 on 8 December with the rollout of the Pfizer Covid-19 jab, which was followed by the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccination on 4 January.

Through the distribution of both vaccines, lawmakers in the UK are hoping to administer 13.9 million doses of the vaccines by the middle of February.

As hospitality venues remain shuttered as a result of the latest nationwide lockdown order, trade body UK Hospitality has suggested that the sector could assist in the rollout of the vaccine.

UK Hospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls OBE, said: “Tighter restrictions are a clear and grave indication that we are still a long way from normality. That means hospitality businesses are a long way from being able to begin to trade their way back to safety and keep jobs alive.

“In which case, the government has to be clear about how it is going to make the best possible use of this time. It needs to be used effectively to provide a rapid and extensive roll out of the vaccine and we need a clear exit strategy along with a road map for recovery and business support.

“The hospitality sector can assist in the rapid roll out of the vaccine and we are keen to repay the support shown to us. Our sector is sitting on well-ventilated, Covid-secure spaces such as hotels, conference centres, pubs and restaurants, which can be used and businesses are already coming forward to offer locations to expedite a mass vaccination programme.”

Brewdog co-founder James Watt has also said that his company could offer its shuttered pubs across the UK to aid the rollout of a vaccine.

In a post on Twitter, he said: “Hi @MattHancock & @NicolaSturgeon. We would like to offer our closed @Brewdog venues to help with a quick roll out of the vaccine. For free.

“We have waiting areas, huge refrigerators, separate rooms for vaccinations and an ace team who can help organise. We want to help.”

In response, first minister Nicola Sturgeon said the message had been passed on to Scotland’s vaccination teams.

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