Parts of UK hospitality sector could reopen in JulyBy Melita Kiely
UK prime minister Boris Johnson said parts of the UK hospitality industry could reopen as early as July.
On Sunday evening (10 May), Johnson addressed the nation in a televised update explaining the basic plan for how and when the country would be able to return to work.
In his update, Johnson said some parts of the hospitality industry could reopen in July however he did not specify which parts of the sector would be permitted to do so. He also recognised that it would take much longer for certain businesses to resume working.
More comprehensive details regarding the UK’s phased route out of lockdown will be released this afternoon (11 May).
Trade body UK Hospitality said the prime minister’s speech provided an “important and positive base for progress”.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality, said: “The prime minister gave us a sense of the shape of his plan and the journey ahead. Much detail will follow but the focus on saving lives, and saving livelihoods, is an important and positive basis for progress.
“Mr Johnson was explicit about his commitment to support those workers whose businesses are not able to return soon and we remain committed to continuing our dialogue with the government to achieve that. We have been calling for a more flexible, extended furlough system and today’s statement appears to leave the door open for that.
“UK Hospitality has already been working up protocols for implementation in different parts of the sector, to allow venues to confidently open their doors when it is safe to do so. This is very much consistent with the approach of ‘Covid secure’ standards that the prime minister referenced.
“He recognised in his statement that some parts of business will be able to open and others won’t – we will work to ensure that the government is well placed to support those in hospitality that need longer, as well as on enabling those who are able to return.”
All on-trade venues in the UK were ordered to close from 20 March in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Earlier this month, the owner of Soho bar Milk & Honey, Jonathan Downey, warned UK bars would not survive the pandemic without a nine-month rent holiday as he ramped up efforts for the #NationalTimeOut campaign.