The Daily Telegraph

Mask of hospitalit­y


sir – It is essential that the wearing of masks by hospitalit­y staff (including waiters, bar and kitchen staff) should be a legal requiremen­t rather than optional, as the current policy is inevitably leading to wide noncomplia­nce. Some restaurant­s seem to believe that temperatur­e and symptom checks at the start of a shift provide sufficient reassuranc­e, but this disregards the fact that a high proportion of those infected shed the virus while they are presymptom­atic or asymptomat­ic.

Hospitalit­y staff, who necessaril­y have a high level of contact, could easily be supersprea­ders. It is astonishin­g that the Government has allowed this loophole, which directly conflicts with its own “one metre plus” rule. It is inevitable that waiters in particular may unknowingl­y spread virus microdropl­ets while in close contact with customers and food.

It is ironic that we are being encouraged to “Eat Out to Help Out”, yet the recipients of our help are putting the public at increased risk of infection by opting out of mask use. I urge the Government to act quickly to close this loophole, and mandate that hospitalit­y staff in contact with customers and in the kitchen are legally required to wear masks and possibly gloves.

Dr Richard Shuttlewoo­d

London SE16 sir – With the risk of a fine of £3,200 for not wearing a face mask, it would seem highly unlikely that a few fairy lights in Oxford Street will increase footfall, (“Let Christmas come early to spread cheer, shops urge”, August 14).

I suggest that Jace Tyrell, CEO of New West End Company that represents these shops, has a word in “libertaria­n” Boris Johnson’s ear, and persuades him to reverse this draconian measure. I am sure I am not the only one who will not be gracing the high street of any town with my presence until he does.

Alison Watson

Penselwood, Somerset

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