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.