The claims came as MPs from across the UK joined the parliamentary debate on public petitions on the support for the industry and the decision to create a minister for hospitality on Tuesday (12 January).
The minister acknowledged that there is work to be done in making venues Covid-19 friendly, but was keen to highlight that “hospitality in itself is [not] the vector for transmission” of the virus.
Scully then honed in on the value of the industry to communities not only through the economy, but also in supporting mental health, wellbeing, social cohesion, and cultural integration, a point that has been backed by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
Speaking after the debate, Nik Antona, national chairman at CAMRA, said: “MPs from all parties and from across the nations of the UK made it clear just how important pubs, social clubs and breweries are to communities – not only boosting local economies and providing jobs, but also as a key part of our social fabric, tackling loneliness and social isolation.
“It was particularly encouraging to hear the Government’s small business minister recognise all the hard work and investment that has gone into making pubs and hospitality businesses Covid-secure, and his belief that the sector shouldn’t be scapegoated.”
He added: “It’s important to make sure the Government encourages and allows everyone to socialise safely in our pubs, clubs and taprooms once restrictions are lifted.”