UK Hospitality warns of Plan B impactBy Melita Kiely
New Covid-19 restrictions in England will ‘significantly impact’ consumer confidence and be ‘particularly devastating’ to city-based hospitality venues, UK Hospitality has warned.
Yesterday (8 December), UK prime minister Boris Johnson said ‘Plan B’ measures in England are now necessary due to the rise in omicron cases of Covid-19.
While masks will still not be needed in hospitality venues like pubs, bars or restaurants, from Friday 10 December they will be mandatory for most indoor public venues, such as theatres, cinemas and places of worship.
From Monday 13 December, people will be advised to work from home if possible.
Furthermore, from Wednesday 15 December, subject to parliamentary approval, people will need an NHS Covid Pass or negative lateral flow test to enter nightclubs and other large-capacity venues.
Trade body UK Hospitality has warned how fresh Covid-19 measures will impact the on-trade sector.
Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality chief executive, said: “While the government clearly acknowledges that hospitality is safe and can continue to host celebrations in the lead up to Christmas, the measures announced today will significantly impact consumer confidence and be particularly devastating to city and town centre venues.
“As such, they risk devastating the hospitality sector amid its most important time of the year.
“We therefore desperately need support if we are to survive this latest set of restrictions and urge the government to stand behind our industry. That means full business rates relief, grants, rent protection and extended VAT reductions. Anything less would prove catastrophic.”
Earlier this week, Ireland closed its nightclubs and implemented new Covid-19 measures for hospitality operations.