News

UK lockdown extension is a ‘hammer blow’ to hospitality sector

Trade organisations call for ‘clear and comprehansive measures’ to support businesses facing prospect of job and revenue losses

UK

By Sarah Todd

15 June 2021

www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support
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The UK government’s decision to delay final lockdown easing in England for at least another four weeks has been predicted to have a profound impact on the spa industry with a cost of up to £3bn for hospitality businesses.

As cases of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India, continue to rise, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated yesterday that most coronavirus rules will remain in place until at least July 19, meaning hospitality venues will have to continue to operate with restricted numbers.

Now, spa, leisure and hospitality leaders are urgently calling for more comprehensive support and an end to ‘stop-start’ uncertainty after months of closure.

According to UKHospitality, which represents hotels, bars, leisure venues and restaurants, the UK hospitality sector employs more than 3.2 million people, representing 10% of UK employment, 6% of business and 5% of GDP.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has delayed the final easing of lockdown restrictions

Following the latest announcement, UKHospitality is calling for urgent further support for hospitality businesses. and “clear, comprehensive measures” to ensure an end to the lockdown and particularly to counter the impact of the resumption of business rates payments in July.

The trade body’s chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “The decision to delay is hugely disappointing. The hospitality sector has already lost more than £87bn in sales in the pandemic, leaving businesses in debt and at risk of suffering ‘economic long Covid’ without further support.

“This four-week delay to lifting restrictions will cost the sector around £3bn in sales, put at risk 300,000 jobs and have a knock-on impact on bookings throughout the summer and into the autumn. If the supports provided by the Chancellor are not sustained and adjusted, businesses will fail. A final lifting of restrictions is the only way to save the sector from disaster and enable it to play its part in a national economic recovery.”

Meanwhile, The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) also said that business support measures must continue. Responding to the roadmap delay, Claire Walker, co-executive director of the BCC, said: “This delay to the removal of restrictions will come as a hammer blow to those firms who must remain closed, and to those who continue to see their ability to trade severely restricted.

“Many firms have fought incredibly hard to stay afloat throughout the pandemic and are struggling with the damage done to their cashflow and revenue. They are desperate to play their part in the recovery. We must ensure they receive the support, and the clarity, that will give them a chance to do that.”

Guidance and business support

Click below for government guidance on the continuing restrictions:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

Click below for details of the support available to UK businesses:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

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