The government should publish the data that underpins its decisions on the restrictions imposed on the hospitality sector, according to a new report published by the House of Commons’ Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

Its report ‘Government transparency and accountability during Covid 19: The data underpinning decisions’ concluded the hospitality and leisure sectors had not seen the data underpinning these decisions and that the government should make this available to justify the restrictions at each stage of the roadmap, “as a matter of urgency”.

After speaking to representatives from affected sectors in December last year, including Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the committee found the prevailing message was that the data underpinning decisions was not clear.

McClarkin said: The evidence and the data that they have claimed or used to make these decisions has sometimes not even been there. It is more based on perception or a gut feel.

“We have invested as a sector over £500 million in making sure all the equipment is there for our staff: the face masks; they had visors to begin with; there are Perspex screens inside our venues. We have also created one-way zones, travel zones inside, hand sanitisation, everything. Table service has been introduced and it has made incredibly secure and safe areas to socialise in, and I think that needs to be recognised,” she said.

The report found that the evidence received on the safety of safety of hospitality venues and shops “was far from conclusive”. “Nor does it consider newer research on issues like ventilation when considering indoor versus outdoor mixing, But it does highlight that the government was not clear on the evidence underpinning their decisions,” read the report.