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UK govt to support hospitality firms over coronavirus

A trade group has welcomed the UK government’s move to allow businesses to claim compensation if they are affected by coronavirus, which could help the hospitality sector offset any losses.

The move should help hospitality businesses that “are already feeling the strain”

The number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the UK stands at 85 after it rose by 34 on Wednesday (4 March).

The government has now declared coronavirus as a “notifiable disease”, which is required by some insurers to cover business losses.

Trade body UK Hospitality said the move is “particularly welcome” for hospitality and tourism companies that “are likely to bear the brunt of a downturn in business”.

“This is a helpful step forward by the government and should help offset some of the losses that hospitality businesses will incur due to the coronavirus,” said UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.

“Tourism and hospitality is likely to be hit as people cancel holidays and our members are already reporting a reduction in hotel bookings.

“Businesses will need to check the terms and conditions of their insurance and make sure their insurance provider has updated their policy to include Covid-19. This is not going to be a remedy for all businesses, but it should help some of those who are already feeling the strain.”

The UK government has also announced that statutory sick pay will be available from day one, instead of day four under the current rules, for those who have to self-isolate due to coronavirus.

The change is a temporary measure in response to the outbreak and will lapse when it is no longer needed, the government said.

For those who do not receive statutory sick pay, the government said workers can claim Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

The spirits industry has also been impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak, with trade shows including ProWein, Vinexpo Hong Kong and Summit of the Americas already postponed or canceled as a direct result of the virus.

The Spirits Business took an in-depth look at how coronavirus could impact the long-term health of the industry in our latest issue, out now.

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