The Beehive Thorner and Chophaus owner says NHS Covid app rule changes are positive as staff getting pinged

The owner of a Leeds gastro-pub and restaurant co-owner has said new Covid rules set to be introduced in August will be positive long term but will not help immediately with staffing problems.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 8:30 am
The Beehive in Thorner
The Beehive in Thorner

Hospitality staff will no longer have to self-isolate from August if they've been doubled jabbed unless they test positive themselves.

Bars and restaurants across Leeds are having to cope with a string of problems getting enough staff with many being unable to work.

One major problem is high numbers of staff being 'pinged' the NHS track and trace system.

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Co-owners of Chophaus restaurant (left to right) Marcel Leader, Chris Walsh, Dale Wynter and Yarl Christie

Dale Wynter, who owns The Beehive gastro-pub in Thorner and is a co-owner of Chophaus restaurant in Oakwood, welcomed the new rules set to be introduced in August.

He said: "It will help massively, but most of our workforce are under 21 so hardly any of them have had one jab let alone two.

"We have had a number of members of staff off because people they live with have been pinged or they have been pinged.

"It has been tough. It is already hard enough to recruit staff so we are low on numbers.

"Whether that is because of Brexit or because people have left the industry during lockdown."

Mr Wynter added: "It is positive. I'm hoping it leads to a more positive outlook for everybody so people can be confident of going out and about.

"The main thing we need is for people to have confidence.

"In the immediate term it is not going to make much difference to us. But later in the year it is going to be of huge benefit.

"As we get busier, when people start to come out, we are not going to have the same struggles with staff."

Martin Greenhow is managing director of Mojo Bar in Leeds and also runs bars in Harrogate, Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham.

He said: "I welcome the fact that staff that are double jabbed won't have to isolate.

"The vast majority of our staff haven't had the chance to be vaccinated yet as they are in their early twenties.

"Whilst it is moving in the right direction it doesn't overcome the problem for us in the short term.

"With the anticipated spike in cases, the problem is only going to get worse."

Mr Greenhow added: "I'm sure for many businesses it will be fantastic, but given that the vast majority of hospitality staff are in their early twenties they are not in a position to double vaccinated as of yet.

"I don't think it is going to help our staff issues probably until September at the earliest."

My Wynter said: "Every hospitality business in the city is recruiting chefs at the moment.

"There is such a shortage, it's a nightmare.

"Chefs are commanding more money but customers aren't coming out as much because of Covid.

"We are in a bit of a Catch 22 situation. We need to recruit chefs but there are not a lot of chefs in the market.

"The ones that are in the market are at a premium, but it is not busy enough due to Covid, which means we can't pay what we need to pay to get staff in.

"It is just a realy difficult time. Hopefully public confidence at being out and about will mean we start to get business again, which then means you can recruit staff, which then means we can afford better service and get the whole industry back on its feet."