More than 100 UK hospitality businesses have written directly to Prime Minister Boris Johnson warning that he must personally do more to help the struggling sector.
The letter, led by trade associations the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), UKHospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), said that without additional and urgent support many businesses will not survive the bleakest of winters and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost.
It described how the latest restrictions to be imposed on the sector, which includes a 10pm curfew on operating hours and a legal obligation for licensed venues to operate table service only, have made the fight to survive even harder. It noted that prior to the new rules being introduced, half of all hospitality businesses already did not believe they would survive beyond the middle of next year.
The letter has called on government to commit to review the appropriateness of the latest restrictions at least every three weeks and to remove them if they are found to not be impacting the spread of the virus.
In closing, the letter asked the Prime Minister to intervene as a matter of urgency and offered a meeting of sector leaders to help draw up a sector-specific support package to reflect sector-specific restrictions and help prevent the devastating damage that draws ever closer.
This echoes the sentiment from the hospitality sector here in New Zealand, both The Restaurant Association NZ and Hospitality NZ have called on sector-specific support from the New Zealand government.
Meanwhile, in northern England, the respective leaders of Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester Council have warned that the region faces mass redundancies and boarded-up high streets unless the COVID-19 restrictions are reviewed.
In a joint letter, they have written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Business Secretary Alok Sharma explaining that the restrictions are threatening a huge, disproportionate economic impact.
“The stark reality is that these businesses are facing the prospect of a complete decimation in trade,” they said.