COVID-19 scheme offering UK diners 50% off comes into force

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London, Aug 3 (IANS) Diners across the UK will be able to enjoy half-price meals throughout August from Monday, as part of a government scheme aimed at boosting restaurants and pubs after the COVID-19 lockdown.
The scheme, “Eat out to help out” applies to eat-in food and drink on Monday to Wednesdays at more than 72,000 venues, the BBC reported.
The discount is capped at 10 pounds per person and does not apply to alcohol.
No vouchers are required to use the offer, with the participating establishment deducting 50 per cent from the bill and charging the discount to the Treasury.
There is no minimum spend and you can use the discount as often as you like on eligible days.
However, it does not apply to takeaways.
The scheme is designed to encourage people to visit restaurants, cafes and pubs, which have been badly hit by the lockdown.
Around 80 per cent of hospitality firms stopped trading in April, with 1.4 million workers furloughed – the highest of any sector – according to government data.
Many venues which have reopened since July 4 have also been forced to operate at a lower capacity to comply with social distancing rules.
The offer only applies at participating eateries in areas of the UK that are not in local lockdown – but major chains including Pizza Express, Costa Coffee, McDonald’s and Nando’s are among the 72,000 to have signed-up.
“Our ‘eat out to help out’ scheme’s number one aim is to help protect the jobs of 1.8 million chefs, waiters and restaurateurs by boosting demand and getting customers through the door,” the BBC quoted Chancellor Rishi Sunak as saying in a statement.
“The industry is a vital ingredient to our economy and it’s been hit hard by coronavirus, so enjoy summer safely by showing your favorite places your support – we’ll pay half.”

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