A restaurateur claims the hospitality industry has once again been made the “scapegoat” for the spread of Covid-19.

Paul Milsom, managing director of the Le Talbooth and Milsoms restaurants in Dedham and The Pier in Harwich, has been left unimpressed by the Government’s mooted “roadmap” out of lockdown.

The hospitality industry is expected to be one of the last out of lockdown, with businesses not reopening for anything other than takeaways until May.

“We are extremely disappointed that it will not be until May or mid-May - it makes no sense,” he said.

“We will have a situation where it will be OK to meet up with six people for a BBQ in a park or garden, but you can’t eat outside at a restaurant in a Covid-secure environment, something our industry has invested heavily in.

“To me it seems muddled, but I’m not surprised.

“Once again the hospitality industry is a scapegoat for the situation.

“They need someone to blame.

“But there aren’t any studies that show hospitality is the reason for the spread of the virus.”