What we all already knew has finally been confirmed by one of the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.
Sir Patrick Vallance has been alongside the Prime Moron during the televised briefings throughout the coronavirus pandemic, looking like a kid giving a school project presentation who’d been paired with the smelly moron of the class. He has played the ‘scientific expert’ role with the added kudos of being a Sir to try and give some substance to Johnson’s bumbling word farts.
He has on occasion seemed uncomfortable but has, presumably with the assistance to Dominic Cummings, got better and better at answering the questions he wants as opposed to the questions he has been asked.
Finally, today he admitted to MP’s on the Commons science committee today that the 10pm curfew decision was not based on scientific fact.
He was asked if there is specific modelling to show whether Covid-secure measures pubs, bars and restaurants have taken in the UK have made a difference to infection rates.
His reply: ‘There’s no really hard evidence on curfew times…. It’s not something you can model with a degree of accuracy and say, a particular time will give you a particular result.’
He stated that when people are in booze-fuelled locations, the risk of spread sis increase, but was unable to say that any particular time limits were helpful.
Now obviously you are all aware that people didn’t stop drinking when the pubs and bars shut they just moved to homes instead. Those are not monitored and are more dangerous booze-fuelled locations as a result. We aren’t the only ones to think this and now we have scientific evidence to back it up, this time from our Dutch friends.
Dutch Report Leaked
There has been a leaked report from the Dutch economy ministry which shows the shutting of hospitality did almost nothing to bring down the crucial R-rate reproduction number. The scientists concluded what everyone with common sense knew, keeping people out of hospitality just moved the transmission of the virus into domestic settings where the situation may be worse because of lack of social distancing measures at home.
The research from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said ‘Visiting the catering industry seems to have moved the more unsafe home situation in recent months. Infections cannot be linked to a sector such as the catering industry, but to the occurrence of unsafe contact moments.’
The scientists tracked the R-rate which when hospitality was shut on October 14th in the Netherlands was at 1.08, it fell to 0.82 but by November 13th, with hospitality still shut, it was back up to 1.04.
Their conclusion was ‘This suggests that the influence of the catering industry on the R-rate is very small, and the decrease and increase since October 14th must be explained differently.’
Our government love nothing more than using examples from the likes of Germany and France to support their decisions to close down hospitality. What is the betting that he will ignore this particular report though.
The public have already begun turning on the government with even their Christmas Hail Mary (first festive gag of the season) getting a mixed review. Now it appears even their own scientists are turning on them. Will it make a difference? Unlikely in the short term but any extra pressure can only be good for our industry.