Have your say: Should Eat Out to Help Out come back this summer?

Ross McGuinness
·1-min read
People eating on tables placed outside a restautant in Chinatown in Soho, London, as the government initiative Eat Out to Help Out comes to an end.
Deliveroo has called for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to return. (PA)

Deliveroo has called on the government to reintroduce the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

The takeaway giant wants the scheme to be reinstated when restaurants reopen after England’s coronavirus lockdown is eased.

Eat Out to Help Out gave customers 50% off meals during the pandemic when it was in operation last August and September.

About 300 restaurants have backed the call by Deliveroo, which wrote a letter to Boris Johnson asking for Eat Out to Help Out to return.

The BBC reported the letter read: "Even when they are able to reopen to customers, restrictions around mixing of households and social distancing measures mean that a return to trading at full capacity will remain dependent on the successful vaccine rollout.”

Last November, HMRC revealed that restaurants, pubs and cafes had claimed £849m through Eat Out to Help Out, in the shape of more than 160 million meals.

It said more than 49,000 premises had made claims by the end of September.

The scheme was championed by the government as a way to get businesses back on their feet following the initial nationwide lockdown.

However, a study by Warwick University published in October claimed Eat Out to Help Out had a “large casual impact in accelerating” the second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Researchers said up to 17% of new infection clusters could be linked to the scheme.

Last month, it was revealed that most meals were claimed by businesses in London, Manchester and Liverpool.

Read more: Eat Out to Help Out may have driven UK coronavirus spike

Watch: What UK government COVID-19 support is available?