Government must commit to 'clear exit strategy' from restrictions

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fair consultation needed: UKHospitality (UKH) has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, calling for an exit strategy out of coronavirus measures
Fair consultation needed: UKHospitality (UKH) has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, calling for an exit strategy out of coronavirus measures

Related tags: Coronavirus, Legislation, lockdown, Health and safety, ukhospitality, London

UKHospitality (UKH) has written to the Prime Minister outlining the sector’s need for a “rolling back” of tiered restrictions and financial support similar to that provided by other countries.

The trade body’s requests came after several areas across the south east of England were plunged into a tougher set of coronavirus measures and Christmas rules tightened for other areas.

Grants for businesses in England should be enhanced to match support given to venues in Germany, UKH told Boris Johnson.

As things stand, German pubs will have up to 75% of lost turnover replaced by its government’s support package whereas UK businesses are being left “on the verge of collapse” by inadequate grants. 

UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls called for changes to the tier system “at the earliest opportunity” and collaboration between coronavirus testing services and the trade.

Misplaced perceptions

“It is imperative that a rolling back of the tiered system, or a full-scale revision, is undertaken at the earliest opportunity, informed by adequate consultation between the sector and those within Government making the decisions," she wrote. "It cannot be driven by outdated, misinformed and misplaced perceptions of the hospitality sector."

Rapid coronavirus testing could be used to liberate parts of the sector, Nicholls added.

“Self-evidently, where attendees have tested negative for coronavirus, they should be entitled to access hospitality venues,” she wrote. “This could particularly benefit sectors such as weddings, but could also stretch across to other events, nightclubs and allow more mixed households in restaurants and pubs. Travel could also begin to return.”

The letter called for the following:

  • "Commit to work with industry early in the New Year on a clear exit strategy and route map setting out clear metrics and mitigations to allow for reopening. 
  • "Link the reduction and removal of business restrictions to the roll out of the vaccination and rapid rest roll out.
  • "Devise and implement a compensation scheme that brings England at least into line with Wales and Scotland, preferably raising the bar to equivalence with countries such as Germany 
  • "Avoid the April cliff edge that threatens survival by extending the cut in the VAT rate until at least the end of the year and reintroducing a business rates holiday for 2021/22."

Related topics: Legislation

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