As with other countries navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.K. has set aside aid for workers in a nightlife industry largely on hold. Department of Health and Social Care Minister Helen Whately has argued that the money might be better spent elsewhere.
That is, according to remarks Whately made in conversation with Kay Burley for Sky News on Monday, September 28th. When asked about how recently announced reductions in grant money available to the self-employed might affect workers in nightlife, Whately said that it “doesn’t make sense to continue supporting jobs where there simply isn’t work at the moment.”
Health Minister @Helen_Whately: “It doesn’t make sense to continue supporting jobs where there simply isn’t work at the moment.”
— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) September 28, 2020
When pressed for clarification, Whately explained that the pandemic’s indefinite impacts on nightlife institutions led U.K. lawmakers to make difficult decisions when allocating future relief. She said that by imposing a 10:00 PM cutoff, they hoped to keep bars and clubs operational without allowing attendees to become inebriated enough that they flout social distancing guidelines.
Helen Whately’s comments follow Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s announcement that trial runs of events with live audiences would be postponed amid rising COVID-19 case counts.
Image credit: Alexander Popov