86% of operators anticipating negative trade impact from ‘rule of six’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Industry survey: the poll has asked respondents their level of confidence in the future of their business throughout the pandemic
Industry survey: the poll has asked respondents their level of confidence in the future of their business throughout the pandemic

Related tags: Legislation, Government, Law, Boris johnson

The majority of hospitality business operators expect the Government’s ‘rule of six’ to have a negative impact on trade when entering autumn, new figures have revealed.

The latest Hospitality Leaders Poll carried out by Lumina Intelligence for The Morning Advertiser's​ sister title MCA​ found that a fifth (21%) of the 219 operators asked said the new law will have a major [negative] impact with 27% forecasting a minor impact and 37% a moderate shift. 

Just 3% expect a positive outcome from the new law while 11% don’t predict any kind of impact from it.

The Government’s ‘rule of six’ came into force last Monday​ (14 September) and replaced the ban on gatherings of more than the 30 and the guidance on allowing two households to meet indoors.

Current trade

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “You must not meet socially in groups of more than six and if you do, you will be breaking the law.

"This will apply in any setting indoors out outdoors at home or in the pub. The ban will be set out in law and it will be enforced by the police. Anyone breaking the rules risks being dispersed, fined and possibly arrested."

When it comes to trade currently, 71% are anticipating some level of negative impact on forward and cancelled bookings (18% major, 22% minor and 31% moderate) due to the law.

More than a quarter (27%) of those asked don’t expect there to be an impact in the future of the ‘rule of six’ and 1% think they will see a positive impact.

Business confidence

Respondents were asked ‘a study published over the weekend suggested Eat Out to Help Out could have led to a spike in coronavirus cases. To what extent do you agree or disagree?’

Some 39% agreed with the statement, while 33% disagreed and almost one in three (29%) were unsure.

Of the 219 participants, the majority (88%) stated they had not experienced coronavirus in any of their venues while 8% had with staff and 5% with customers.

The survey has polled the confidence of respondents on the future of their company each week and the latest research shows business leaders levels were flat when compared with last week (68% showed levels of confidence this week compared to 67% in the previous week).

Related topics: Legislation

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