70% of operators ‘optimistic’ vaccine development will break lockdown cycle

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Trade survey: the poll asked respondents how the impact of the vaccine development would affect business
Trade survey: the poll asked respondents how the impact of the vaccine development would affect business

Related tags Lumina Intelligence Government

Seven in 10 operators have shown levels of optimism about the development of a vaccine against coronavirus providing a viable way out of a lockdown cycle, an industry survey has found.

This comes after major pubco share prices rocketed following the announcement of a coronavirus vaccine​ by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech.

Some 40m doses of the vaccine have been ordered by the UK Government, with about 10m of them expected to be ready for use by Christmas, it has been reported.

The announcement of the jab sparked London’s stock market into action and, at the time of reporting, the FTSE 100 was on track to have its best day since March this year.

Staff levels

The Hospitality Leaders Poll, which asked 172 business leaders across the trade about their thoughts on the vaccine and is carried out by Lumina Intelligence for MCA​, The Morning Advertiser​, Restaurant ​and Big Hospitality​, also asked if the postponement of the Job Retention Scheme Bonus meant they had to reappraise staffing levels.

The majority (45%) responded that it wouldn’t, but 29% said it would and more than a quarter (26%) said it could do.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the Job Retention Bonus, which was previously revealed to encourage companies to keep furloughed staff on, would “fall away”​ in light of the furlough extension until March 2021.

Confidence tracker

One operator said: “Retention bonus should be reinstated, as it was announced by the Government and has become part of many company’s cash flow projections.”

The survey has also polled respondents’ confidence on the future of their business each week and the latest results show 8% were confident – a drop from 14% in the previous week.

However, those who are not confident dropped from almost half (47%) last week to a third (33%) this week.

More than half (56%) were ‘quite confident’ – up from 33% last week however. those who were ‘very confident’ dropped from 6% last week to 4% this week.

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