Hospitality businesses support customer's choice for masks

Eastern Angles Theatre in Gatacre Road, Ipswich. The theatre company want to raise �200,000 to expan

Eastern Angles Theatre company said it will continue to follow government guidance - Credit: Archant

Hospitality bosses have said they will not be making any further moves to reintroduce restrictions unless directed to as mandatory mask wearing is brought back in some areas of society.

To prevent the spread of the new Omicron variant the government announced it would reintroduce mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops, on public transport, but not currently in hospitality. 

This came into effect at 4am on Tuesday. 

Sajid Javid has been appointed as the new health secretary

Sajid Javid set out plans in the House of Commons on Monday - Credit: PA

On Monday, the health secretary Sajid Javid said, “Our strategy is to buy ourselves time and to strengthen our defences while our world-leading scientists learn more about this potential threat.”

Pubs and theatres in Suffolk said they would continue to honour what made customers feel more comfortable until any further restrictions were brought in.

The Red Lion in Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON PARKER

The Red Lion in Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON PARKER

“If customers feel more comfortable wearing a mask, we have no problem with that, but if they feel like not wearing a mask, we’re absolutely okay with that,” said a manager of the Red Lion in Woodbridge, “We don’t have [mask-wearing] as a policy for our staff at the moment, and won’t until that becomes a sanctioned thing, or there’s a lot of discomfort coming from customers.”

At the Grosvenor in Felixstowe, a spokesman said: “Obviously, there’s always a worry when a new variant comes to the forefront without any information scientifically.

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"It's always going to be a concern. But at the moment we’re just going with what our head office tell us to do, and how best to move forward.”

Following the announcement, Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said he was pleased the restrictions were not extended to hospitality. 

He said: "What the government has decided to do it for three weeks only, and I will support it, but I don't want there to be any creep from this to other restrictions unless there is a good justification."

Eastern Angles Theatre in Gatacre Road, Ipswich. The theatre company want to raise �200,000 to expan

Eastern Angles Theatre company said it will continue to follow government guidance - Credit: Archant

Theatre production company Eastern Angles said at selected performances mask wearing is mandatory but otherwise encouraged.

Jess Baker, general manager of Ipswich-based theatre company Eastern Angles told us that “We are continuing to follow government guidelines and responding when information is released.

"Eastern Angles have made the decision to be cautious this year with our auditorium already at half capacity, socially distanced cabaret seating, table service for drinks as well as selected performances where mask wearing is mandatory.

"Mask wearing is encouraged at all other performances.”