Six and Three rule for groups under a certain age

Pubs, restaurants, and cafes are badly struggling, and will continue to do so over winter. Many will close.

Why the 6 and 2 rule should be reconsidered

Their problems are exacerbated by the six and two rule, which limits the sort of custom they can accept. The rule as drafted limits the types of household formation that can be accepted in a way that doesn't seem consistent with risk.

At present, two parents in their fifties and their 19 year old dependent can meet a couple in their sixties for dinner. Three friends in their mid-20s, each living alone, cannot meet for a coffee. The risks in each meeting are starkly different to what the policy allows.

Why is this a problem?

The policy as designed limits a key demographic for the hospitality sector: 18-40 year olds with no dependents and reasonable to high disposable income. These people will tend to live in smaller households and spend a higher percentage of their income on things like eating out and social drinks. The direct risks to this group is relatively small.

Around 6 in 10 households in Scotland are two people or fewer. This will include the young and ready to spend. Of those households that are three or more, these will generally be younger adults in HMOs or parents with dependent children. Younger adults in HMOs may have less disposable income, while parents with younger children are more likely to stay at home given their childcare responsibilities. Parents with older children will tend to support a certain subsection of hospitality that is "family friendly".

Why the contribution is important

A tweak to the 6 and 2 rule to allow 6 and 3 would allow pubs, cafes, and restaurants to accept a wider range of household types. If this would create too much risk, it could be conditionally tweaked so that 6 and 3 only applies to groups where all members are under a certain age. This would help premises attract more 5-6 people bookings. The unanswered question is how much additional risk this would bring, but it would be good to see that question asked, if it hasn't already been answered already.

by billybob on October 06, 2020 at 07:37AM

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