London-based bar and restaurant group Darwin & Wallace felt an immediate affect following the Government’s advice to avoid pubs, bars and restaurants yesterday, managing director Mel Marriot has told MCA.

“From the minute the government effectively withdrew any demand for our business, and the industry as a whole, people took that advice and stayed away,” she said.

Despite Monday’s announcement being advisory, rather than an outright ban, Marriot said it poses a difficult moral dilemma for the group as it waits for further Government measures.

“One of the biggest moral issues for me is that if the government is advising people not to come into this environment, then how can I ask the teams to? It seems so counterintuitive.”

Whilst the group is trying to be as pragmatic as possible, Marriot said the situation was a “movable beast,” and any attempts at futureproofing were at the hands of “hourly changing” Government advice and measures.

“We’re hoping before we firm up any concrete plans in terms of operating hours or potential closures we will see a firm indication from the Government of the support that is necessary for our industry and its supply chain,” she said.

“We need to know what government assistance can be given to the people that we may have to lose from our business. If they can give us the ability to guarantee income even for a short period of time it’ll take away some uncertainty for people”

“The knock-on effect is just immense. There’s going to be a huge human cost to this and we all need to be mindful of that.”