'I feel like a sacrificial lamb,' says fearful bar worker, as indoor hospitality opens

17 May 2021, 19:15

By Fiona Jones

This fearful bar worker sought advice from Eddie Mair after expressing that he "feels like a sacrificial lamb" having to serve people indoors with the Indian variant on the rise.

The roadmap out of lockdown in England has so far gone as planned, with today's relaxation being the most significant thus far.

It includes groups of up to thirty being allowed to meet outdoors, while people can meet indoors with up to six people or as two households.

Pubs, bars and restaurants can also reopen indoors, with groups of up to six people or two households able to sit inside.

Read more: Lockdown easing: All you need to know about England's Covid rules from today

Caller Adam told Eddie that the Government's guidance has been "awash with contradictions."

He has taken a job in a bar as his savings are running out due to Covid: "However I just feel like until the mask mandate is lifted for everyone I just don't understand why my job, or people in my sector now...are sacrificial lambs.

"We're thrown under the bus. I took this job initially because I felt Covid-safe for the first time doing this particular job."

Prior to the new relaxation, there was a separation between staff inside and patrons outside and he was able to safely serve, however he is worried that people no longer have to wear a mask in his workplace.

"I don't understand why restaurants are now the new place that Covid doesn't seem to step into. I feel really anxious about going back to work," Adam said, "I'm going to get the Indian variant, I'm going to get the young people who haven't been vaccinated."

He told Eddie he does not feel able to tell his new boss as he only got the job two weeks ago, positing that vulnerable or vaccinated people should be able to go inside if they can verify their vaccination, and people unvaccinated can stay outside.

He said he is grateful for his job, but does not understand why he should now be put at risk of getting Covid, "Now I have to walk into a potential Indian variant, I have to walk into un-Covid safe place...I'm in Shoreditch which is the area that has the Indian variant."

Eddie encouraged Adam to have the conversation with his boss about his worries: "It seems to me you shouldn't be so anxious in the workplace. Maybe simply having the conversation might lead to something positive for you."

Meanwhile, Matt Hancock told the Commons that early data shows vaccines are "effective" at tackling the Indian Covid-19 variant - however this variant is more transmissible than the previous strains, according to initial studies.