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• LIVE: Government implored to 'stop meddling' with vaccine rules

By Emily Hawkins contact

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Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: The Good Brigade / Getty)
Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: The Good Brigade / Getty)

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

Coronavirus latest: The Government should leave venues to carry out their own risk assessments on the necessity of vaccination requirements, one pub group boss has said.

14.56 - Hospitality to 'face the consequences' of omission from isolation exemption

UKHospitality has said it is "disappointing" that hospitality has been excluded from a list of essential sectors whose workers can be exempt from self-isolation.

Fully vaccinated workers in sectors including energy, food production and supply and emergency services, may be able to continue working when identified as a close contact of a Covid positive case.

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: “It is disappointing that the Government has drawn the list of roles so tightly and left hospitality and the rest of the economy to face the consequences. 

“We now face a summer of venue closures and reduced service, when we should be at a seasonal peak. The sector will do all it can to provide great service, but it will be with one hand tied behind our back. 

“We all want to stop the spread of the virus, but we need a more pragmatic solution from Government. Those who are fully vaccinated should be able to test after a ping and, subject to a negative result, carry on with their lives. For those not fully vaccinated two negative tests should be sufficient to return to work.”

 

12.05 - 40% of beer deliveries at risk as workers balloted on strike action

Beer delivery drivers and warehouse staff are to decide whether or not to strike over pay and Covid measures.

Some 1,000 employees of XPO Logistics Drinks are being balloted for industrial action by Unite the union over a “paltry” pay offer.

The workers are based at 26 sites across the country and are responsible for around 40% of UK beer deliveries, leading the union to warn of beer shortages this summers.

Workers said the 1.4% pay rise offered was a bitter pill to swallow after employees missed out on between £8,000 and £10,000 thanks to furlough and a lack of overtime, as well as no pay increase in 2020.

Union bosses warned of shortages of products including Heineken that could hit pubs, in addition to the current ‘pingdemic’ crisis causing staffing difficulties across the sector.

Friday 23 July 2021, 09.25 - Government implored to 'stop meddling' with vaccine rules

The founder and executive chairman of Oakman Inns has said he is concerned vaccine entry requirements could be extended to pubs in the autumn.

Post-lockdown: the Government has said nightclubs will be required to ask customers for their vaccination status in the autumn (image: The Good Brigade / Getty)
Post-lockdown: the Government has said nightclubs will be required to ask customers for their vaccination status in the autumn (image: The Good Brigade / Getty)

Peter Borg-Neal said: "I think it's the wrong policy. They need to move to a policy of risk assessment and we decide what is necessary. So, if for example you take the nightclub sector, if you're Peter Marks at Deltic [Rekom UK], you've got a big modern nightclub with 16 air changes a minute then that would be a safe environment for a crowd.

"If you've got a small basement place with no ventilation then maybe when you do your risk assessment you might decide you should only let people in who have been vaccinated.

Borg-Neal slammed the "blanket policies" and lack of clarity from the Government. "They need to stop meddling and let us who have got experience in public health and wider risk assessments come up with a plan for each venue on its own merit," he added.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi told MPs earlier this week the entry policy could be extended to “large unstructured outdoor events, such as business events and festivals, or very large structured events, such as business events, music and spectator sport events.” 

16.41 - Sector 'can't wait weeks' for vaccine requirement details

Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord, has called on the Government to urgently provide details on vaccination requirements for venues.

He told The Morning Advertiser​: "It's not good enough. It's creating so much anxiety amongst the industry. They urgently need to come forward now and actually give guidance. We can't wait weeks."

14.02 - Government 'dithering' on isolation issue

Founder and executive chairman of Oakman Inns, Peter Borg-Neal told The Morning Advertiser​ the group currently had three pubs closed with a further three operating limited hours or a reduced menu.

Staff shortages had cost the company more than a quarter of a million in sales, the pub group boss said, with just one person in the company testing positive for Covid.

“A test to release scheme is the obvious next move. The Government is dithering,” Borg-Neal said.

13.08 - Almost three quarters of Brits support vaccine passports in clubs

Some 71% of UK adults are in favour of having to prove vaccination status for club entry, a new poll has revealed.

The survey from YouGov surveyed 3,121 GB adults and asked: “Would you support or oppose people being required to show they have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as a condition of entry into nightclubs?”

Almost half (48%) chose ‘strongly support’, more than a fifth (23%) said ‘somewhat support’ while 12% ‘strongly opposed’, 10% were unsure and 7% picked ‘somewhat oppose’.

When broken down into age groups, almost a third (32%) of 18 to 24-year-olds were in “strong support” and a further 25% “somewhat supported” the plan. Just 17% “somewhat opposed” and the same proportion (17%) “strongly opposed”, while the rest (9%) didn’t know.

A higher number (37%) of the next age group – 25 to 49-year-olds – said they “strongly supported”, with a further 26% “somewhat supported”, 8% “somewhat opposed” and 17% “strongly opposed”, with the remainder (14%) unsure.

Reporting by Nikkie Thatcher

11.01 - Record number of isolation app alerts

A record number of self-isolation alerts were sent from the NHS Covid 19 app to users in England and Wales, the latest figures have shown.

There were some 618, 903 'pings' sent in the week to 14 July.

England recorded a figure of 520,194 the previous week.

09.44 - Vaccine policy 'a gambit' to encourage youngsters to get jabbed?

A Whitehall source has described the vaccine requirement for nightclubs as a "gambit" to encourage young people to get jabbed this summer, The Times​ newspaper has reported.

The newspaper's senior Government source said it was not likely the proposals would be put to MPs. “The number of people coming forward has surged in the past two days,” they added.

What's more, Boris Johnson reportedly told Conservative MPs at a 1922 Committee meeting that the policy was designed to "show the young it is in their interests to get vaccinated”.

The Prime Minister said on Monday that two jabs would be made a condition of entry at nightclubs "by the end of September."

Labour has said it would oppose the plans in a vote.

Thursday 22 July, 09.13 - Stonegate calls for detail on 'hugely disappointing' vaccine rules

Operator Stonegate has joined late night sector voices calling on the Government to urgently issue more detail on plans to make vaccination a condition of entry into nightclubs.

Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Jonathan Knowles / Getty)
Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Jonathan Knowles / Getty)

A spokesperson for Stonegate Group said: “It is hugely disappointing to have sprung upon us the mandatory requirement for customers to have to prove that they are double vaccinated as a condition of entry into a nightclub. 

“There is also significant detail missing from this announcement, such as how operators will legally implement and manage this latest requirement without discriminating against employees or customers.

"We remain willing to work with Government, however we must be given the assurance that any system implemented is robust, workable, legally enforceable and above all, does not compromise the safety or wellbeing of our employees.”

16.12 - 84% of businesses have front of house vacancies

UKHospitality, The British Beer and Pub Association and The British Institute of Innkeeping have said a survey reveals major concerns around staffing shortages.

A survey of over 350 businesses operating tens of thousands of venues found that 100% of businesses asked currently had vacancies.

These were mainly front-of-house (84%), non-head chefs (67%) and kitchen porters (36%).

There is a shortage of over 200,000 workers with vacancy levels running across 10% of the sector, the groups said.

13.26 - UKHospitality calls for clarity on exempt workers

Trade body UKHospitality (UKH) has called on the Government for clarity about plans to make some workers exempt from full isolation rules.

It is unclear whether a list of relevant sectors will be published or whether employers will have to apply to the Government to be included.

A UKH spokesperson said: “We would welcome some clarity on this issue. In line with our previous asks, it is crucial that government bring forward practical solutions to the immense challenge of staffing, such as a test-to-release scheme, so that businesses can continue to operate. 

"This is an industry that is trying to get back to its feet after nearly 18 months of closures, restricted trading, diminished revenues and uncertainty, and without intervention there is a danger that more businesses will close and more jobs will be lost.”     

12.09 - Quarter of all furloughed employees were in hospitality

Some 25% of all workers on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme amid the coronavirus pandemic were from the hospitality sector, a study has revealed.

The report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) called Coronavirus and its impact on UK Hospitality: January 2020 to June 2021 ​revealed data from HMRC showed in April 2020, just under 1.65m employees were on furlough, falling to just under 590,000 at the end of May 2021.

This represented a quarter (25%) of all furlough employees across all sectors.

Wednesday 21 July, 09.31 - Some workers will be exempt from isolation

Ministers have said some workers in critical sectors will be exempt from the full self-isolation period.

Pixabay pub

The Prime Minister said earlier this week that essential workers who have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks can end their isolation to travel to work and do their jobs.

It is yet unclear whether a list will be published or if employers will have to write to the Government and enquire about their eligibility. 

Home Office minister Victoria Atkins said this morning that a "list of such workers is being worked on".

It is thought that workers in the healthcare, food and transport sectors will be covered.

It comes as the hospitality sector has been calling for urgent adjustments to be made to the sector to prevent a summer of staff shortages.

15.09 - 'Weeks' before vaccine rules decision 

The Prime Minister's spokesperson was asked today by journalists if they would rule out the introduction of vaccine checks in pubs - they did not rule this out.

Boris Johnson's spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister talked about the sort of areas we were considering, and nightclubs are where there is significant evidence we have at the moment.

"But we're going to use the coming weeks to look at the evidence, particularly both in the UK and globally before making a specific decision."

The spokesperson was also asked if plans to require two jabs as a condition of entry to clubs would be scrapped if vaccine uptake among young people increased.

"This is the policy that the Prime Minister has set out and this is what we will be introducing by the end of September," they said.

13.41 - Downing Street contradicts minister's comments on app alerts

Downing Street has contradicted a minister on messaging about self-isolation alerts from the NHS app.

Business minister Paul Scully said this morning businesses and employees should make 'informed decisions' about whether or not staff should self-isolate.

However a Downing Street spokesperson said it was "crucial" individuals isolate even if they were not contacted by NHS Test and Trace via phone, email or text.

A UKHospitality spokesperson said notifications from the NHS Covid app were advisory and had no legal basis.

They added: "The industry is facing significant staffing challenges just as restrictions ease after 16 months, with up to as many as a fifth of staff in the sector isolating at any one time.

"We urge the Government to move quicker on this issue with a ‘test to release’ system to prevent the summer being cancelled and vast swathes of the population unnecessarily confined to their homes.”

12.34 - PM's about-face on night club vaccine passports branded 'shambolic'

The night-time sector has hit back at the Government after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced proof of a double Covid jab would be made mandatory for club goers as of September.

Earlier this month (July), a snap poll of more than 250 night-time businesses found eight-in-10 would not be asking for proof of vaccination​ as they reopened for the first time since last March yesterday (Monday 19 July).

Night-Time Industries Association conducted the survey and on the latest vaccine passport announcement, boss Michael Kill described the Government’s move as an “absolute shambles”.

“So, ‘freedom day’ for nightclubs lasted about 17 hours then," he said. "The announcement from the Prime Minister that Covid passports will be made mandatory for nightclubs in September comes after his health secretary said only one week ago that they would not be compulsory.

“Leaving aside the fact this is yet another chaotic U-turn that will leave nightclubs, which have been planning for reopening for months will now have to make more changes to the way they operate – this is still a bad idea."

10.12 - Government messaging on vaccine checks 'extremely worrying'

Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord told BBC Breakfast​ that it was "extremely worrying" that business minister Paul Scully had not ruled out vaccine requirements for pubs.

He said ministers were talking about "areas where there's large congregations of people" which did not rule out theatres or pubs.

Hospitality businesses faced another few weeks of "extreme concern" while ministers ironed out the details, Lord added.

Tuesday 20 July, 09.46 - Government 'working out definition' of crowded venues for vaccine rules

There are concerns that the Government could try to implement vaccine rules in busy pubs this autumn after a minister refused to categorially rule it out.

Vaccine passports: the PM said proof of a negative test would not be sufficient to get into a nightclub this autumn (image: ericbarns / Pixabay)
Vaccine passports: the PM said proof of a negative test would not be sufficient to get into a nightclub this autumn (image: ericbarns / Pixabay)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last night (19 July) that full vaccination would be a condition of entry to "nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather" by the end of September.

Small business minister Paul Scully told Sky News that ministers were "not saying crowded pubs at all" but then said he refused to rule anything out.

When asked about pubs that were just as busy as nightclubs, Scully said the Government had to "work on the definition" of "crowded venues" included in the rules.

He said: "We've got to define it really carefully and we'll do that in the coming months until we get there."

16.08 - UK records 39,950 new Covid cases

A further 39,950 cases and another 19 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test have been recorded today, according to the Government's figures.

The Prime Minister is expected to urge the country to be cautious in a press conference later.

15.32 - Stonegate files £845m lawsuit against insurers

Stonegate Group has filed a £845m lawsuit against its insurers: MS Amlin, Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe and Zurich, in the latest sector dispute over business interruption policies.

The claim has been brought in London’s High Court and relates to losses suffered during the pandemic, The Financial Times (FT)​ has reported.

Stonegate’s policy has been triggered several times during the crisis but while its insurers have not disputed the policies should pay out, they have stated that their liability is limited to £17.5m, £14.5m of which has already been paid out.

Other hospitality operators who have turned to the courts in recent months include Corbin & King​, Various Eateries, Black & White Hospitality and Inception Group​.

13.55 - App will not be tweaked, PM's spokesperson suggests

The Prime Minister's spokesperson has suggested the NHS app will not be tweaked so it is less sensitive.

They confirmed to Sky News​ that the app was working as expected and so would not be subject to any changes.

The spokesperson said: "We recognise that with high cases that also means a high number of people being required to isolate and that does present significant challenges to businesses.

"We need to strike the right balance between protecting lives and livelihoods.

"That's why we believe it is entirely right that people asked to do so do isolate because we know it prevents onward transmission and eases pressure on our NHS which is facing a significant challenge."

PM Boris Johnson is set to urge the public to be cautious at a news conference tonight while he continues to isolate.

13.32  - Trade body warns of further restrictions

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has said it is concerned nightclubs will be made a "scapegoat" for fresh restrictions this autumn.

NTIA boss Michael Kill said it was "extremely emotional" to see clubs reopen in the early hours of this morning (19 July).

He said: “Great to also hear from customers on how safe they feel in these spaces and understand how much the sector has worked hard to get to this point.

“As an industry we have had to work extremely hard with limited time to deliver safe environments for our customers and staff."

Kill added: "The last 17 months have been very tough, many businesses have been lost, and the ones who have survived are now overburdened with debt and desperate to be able to remain open, but have many years of building back financial stability ahead.”

“In many respects relief has come from the end to uncertainty, but it’s hard to shake the nagging concern over a winter surge resulting in further restrictions being brought in from October, and nightclubs being the scapegoat.”

10.58 - Calls for urgent review of isolation rules

Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord has called for an urgent review of self-isolation rules for close contacts of Covid positive individuals.

It comes after the Prime Minister and Chancellor were forced to backtrack after initially declaring they would not isolate after coming into contact with a positive case.

09.41 - What does 'freedom day' mean for pubs?

Pubs are no longer subject to any rules on social gatherings meaning people no longer have to meet up in groups of six or two households anymore.

What's more, table service is no longer a requirement and punters can order and drink at the bar once more.

It is no longer a requirement to ensure customers check in at a venue via the NHS app or by writing down their contact details.

Customers and staff do not have to wear masks inside anymore. 

However, many businesses have said they will maintain some Covid measures including masks, screens between tables and frequent cleaning.

Monday 19 July, 09.10 - Nightclubs reopen amid calls for caution

Nightclubs were allowed to open their dancefloors for the first time since pandemic restrictions were first imposed in March 2020.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi told BBC Breakfast​ this morning there was no "perfect time" to ease restrictions amid the country recording more than 50,000 cases per day.

"It's right to be careful but it's also right to get our country back together, opening up and as close to normality as possible," Zahawi added.

Many venues decided to open just after midnight this morning (Monday 19 July) with revellers counting down until 'freedom day'.

One venue to reopen this morning was Inception Group's Maggie's Club in London. 

“People are incredibly excited to be coming back,” Inception co-founder Charlie Gilkes previously told The Morning Advertiser​. “We have given the venue a refurbishment so that it feels more fresh and clean. 

“People have really missed dancing and letting go so I hope it will be as close to normal as possible. It will be a great moment to see people standing at the bar and on a dance floor once again.”

15.45 - Pavement licences here to stay

The Government has announced pavement licences "have been extended and made permanent".

It also revealed this was alongside takeaway pints continuing for another 12 months as the temporary permissions for off-sales of alcohol are extended in England and Wales.

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick first announced an extension to pavement licence rules​ earlier this year (March).

At that time, he highlighted previous temporary changes to licensing laws and planning restrictions for outdoor service would be extended with provision for temporary pavement licences to be continued for a further 12 months.

13.28 - What are pubs advised from Monday?

11.04 - Security shortages 'accident waiting to happen'

Industry bosses representing more than 10,000 late night businesses have urged the Government to intervene in door security shortages.

Late night employers have warned of safety risks ahead of ‘freedom day’ on Monday 19 July, when many clubs are planning to reopen after midnight. 

Six in ten door supervisor positions are at risk of being unfilled as a result of the prolonged closure of venues leading staff to seek other careers, according to the UK Door Security Association. 

Signatories of an open letter - including Stonegate and Wetherspoons - have urged the Government to call an urgent meeting to discuss the problem.

The letter calls for solutions such as funding training incentives, streamlining new training requirements, or tackling shortages through legislation.

“Security shortages may well be the coup de grace for our industry; for the public, they’re an accident waiting to happen,” Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association said.

Friday 16 July, 09.46 - More than half of operators have pandemic debts topping £20k

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) surveyed its members and found that 55% of respondents have accrued pandemic specific debts of over £20k per site.

Pandemic debts: a survey has revealed the scale of debt faced by British pub operators (image: PM Images / Getty)
Pandemic debts: a survey has revealed the scale of debt faced by British pub operators (image: PM Images / Getty)

More than a quarter said they have debts of up to £80k, ahead of being allowed to trade without Covid restrictions next Monday (19 July).

Operators said they would need a long time to pay back their debts, with 57% needing more than two years and half of those needing more than five years to repay debts.

Steven Alton, BII CEO said : “The resilience, goodwill and determination of our nations’ pubs has been incredible to witness over the course of the pandemic. However, it is clear to see that this alone will now not be enough to ensure that their businesses survive."

16.09 - What is the guidance for step four trading?

The Government has revealed its guidance on pub trading from Monday 19 July.

Earlier this week (Monday 12 July), the Government confirmed step four of the roadmap could be reached on 19 July and promised guidance for businesses.

This has now been unveiled, providing an overview of the measures pubs should consider when trading.

The announcement reaffirms many of the same practices which were set out in the mandatory guidance for operating last year, but are now advised rather than compulsory measures. The guidance is available here​.

15.11 - Most night-time businesses won’t use vaccine passports, snap poll finds

Eight in 10 (82.7%) late-night operators won’t ask guests to prove their vaccination status for entry into their venues, a survey has found.

More than 250 firms took part in the flash poll from the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) with the trade body stating certification would not be viable for many operators.

Nightclubs are permitted to trade for the first time since last March from next week (Monday 19 July), as part of the Government's delayed step four of its roadmap.

12.26 - Government risks 'summer being cancelled' by isolating sector

UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls has urged the Government to "move quicker" on the issue of pub staff being told to self-isolate or risk "the summer being cancelled and vast swathes of the population unnecessarily confined to their homes.”

She added: “Introducing a test-to-release system for fully vaccinated people from the middle of next month not only fails to recognise the carnage the current system is causing hospitality and the wider economy, but also significantly discriminates against a huge proportion of our workforce.  

Around 60% of hospitality staff are aged between 15-34 and the vast majority will not have had the opportunity to receive both jabs by the 16 August, Nicholls added.

10.27 - App sensitivity could be changed 'within weeks'

The NHS app could be adapted so it is less sensitive, a minister has suggested, after masses of hospitality staff have been forced to self-isolate.

Venues have had to slash opening hours and even close when staff members have been instructed to self isolate for up to ten days. 

Housing and communities minister Robert Jenrick was asked if the app needed to be finetuned on radio station LBC this morning. 

He said: "Yes, I think we have accepted that. It is important that we have the app, that we take it seriously, that when we do get those messages we act accordingly - but we are going to give further thought to how we can ensure that it is a proportionate response.”

“The Government is going to be setting out its plans in the coming weeks so I'm not going to preempt those."

Thursday 15 July, 08.58 - Vote: will you continue table service after 19 July?

Some pub bosses have said they will retain table service when vertical drinking is permitted next Monday (19 July).

For many venues table service represents a huge additional cost. However, some operators are keen to continue some or sole table service even after 'freedom day' next week.

City Pub Group's Clive Watson has said his 45 venues will continue using table service as well as encouraging wearing face coverings.

"July 19 has been dubbed 'Freedom Day' but it really shouldn't be free for all day," he said.

Vote in The Morning Advertiser's​ poll below.

Survey

Will you continue table service after 19 July?

  • Yes

    45%
  • No

    44%
  • Unsure

    11%

15.08 - 'Right time to return to normal levels of rent'

Pub companies have set out their plans for rent payments beyond 19 July, with most expecting tenants to pay full price when restrictions end.

Covid trading restrictions in England - including the rule of six, social distancing requirements and a ban on vertical drinking - are to be lifted on Monday 19 July.

Consequently, pub companies including Star Pubs & Bars and Greene King have confirmed tenants will be required to pay full rent from 19 July.

Greene King wrote to English operators following the Prime Minister’s confirmation that step four of the country’s unlocking roadmap would go ahead, to say the current 40% rent concession would be removed.

Tied tenants had received a 90% rent concession for most of the pandemic, moving to 40% when pubs were allowed to reopen indoors in May. 

A Greene King spokesperson added: “Now England is moving to step four of the government’s roadmap and social distancing and other restrictions on pubs are being lifted, we feel now is the right time to return to normal levels of rent for pubs in England, as we hope to see pubs bouncing back with improved trade due to the removal of capacity restraints.”

13.10 - Operator receives abuse after vaccine policy

A pub operator has been attacked online after announcing he would not let unvaccinated individuals enter his venue.

Phil Cutter, licensee of the Murderers in Norwich, said pub goers would be asked to prove they had been vaccinated with at least one dose a minimum of two weeks before visiting.

The pub was forced to shut for ten days ahead of the England v Italy Euros final after two staff members tested positive for coronavirus.

Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press​ newspaper​, the operator said: "We're not trying to discriminate or embarrass anyone, we're just trying to make sure our staff and customers are safe.

"As a small business what we're trying to do is best for everyone, which is not easy.

"We spoke to Public Health England about doing lateral flow tests instead, but they said the issue is you have to trust the person who submits the details."

11.28 - Welsh lockdown easing announcement expected 

Plans for easing coronavirus restrictions in Wales are set to be unveiled this afternoon.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has already said he will not abandon rules "wholesale" as in England and suggested a slower approach to lifting rules, as seen in Scotland.

It is expected that the country will receive confirmation it can move to alert one - meaning six people can meet up in private homes - and more detail will be given about measures beyond this stage.

In a statement to the Welsh Parliament, Drakeford is expected to outline an updated Covid plan which will set out what will be included in an alert level zero.

Wednesday 14 July, 09.19 - One in five self-isolating, MPs told

One in five employees in the hospitality and retail sectors are currently self-isolating, according to one trade body boss.

Self-isolation: staff have been off work after coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (image: Anton Vierietin / Getty)
Self-isolation: staff have been off work after coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (image: Anton Vierietin / Getty)

MPs at the Commons business select committee were told of the chaos caused by app alerts instructing staff to self-isolate, resulting in venues slashing their opening hours or being forced to close.

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said the issue was getting worse and there were concerns that up to one third of the sector's workforce could be off self-isolating.

Hospitality had "particular concerns" as around 60% of its employees were under 30 and so most will not be double-jabbed until September.

The law will change on 16 August so that double vaccinated people identified as close contacts of Covid positive individuals do not have to self-isolate if they receive a negative PCR test.

Nicholls called for a test to release policy to help staff return to work quicker, similar to international travel rules.

She added: "For many of our small businesses, if you lose one or two of your workers you don't have enough people to open at all, and obviously that has huge ramifications."

16.45 - 'Ongoing and seemingly endless restrictions'

Leon Thompson, UKHospitality Scotland executive director said the organisation’s members would be “relieved” by the announcement to progress to level zero. 

It means some businesses will finally be able to reopen after “many, many months” of closure, Thompson said.

He added: “However, hospitality continues to trade in a very difficult environment which will not improve until all major restrictions are removed. We had hoped to hear something definite on this. Instead, businesses burdened with expensive short-term debt will continue to struggle, unable to break-even whilst ongoing and seemingly endless restrictions continue.”

The trade body also called for a fresh package of financial support for businesses in Scotland which were now set to “fall further behind businesses in England.”

14.44 - Restrictions to be eased in Scotland on 19 July

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced Scotland will move to level zero of coronavirus restrictions on Monday 19 July.

This means pub goers will no longer have to pre-book a two hour slot but will still be required to supply their contact details.

10 people from up to four households can meet up in a venue from next week but customers must still wear face coverings unless they are seated to eat or drink.

Sturgeon said she hopes it will be possible to lift most restrictions on 9 August but measures - such as mandatory mask wearing - would need to be followed for this to happen.

12.43 - Covid deaths increase by 10%

Coronavirus deaths in England and Wales have increased by 10% in the latest week, according to the Office for National Statistics.

A total of 109 deaths with coronavirus mentioned on the death certificate were reported in the week ending 2 July, up on the week prior when 99 deaths were reported.

This is the highest total since 151 deaths were recorded in the week to 14 May.

10.01 - 'Vital businesses can reach own solutions'

UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls has reiterated the trade body's view that businesses must be left alone to devise their own Covid policies after 19 July.

She said: “Confirmation that social distancing measures will be lifted next Monday brings huge relief for hospitality venues hoping to finally head back towards normal trading in England.

"A week from now, for the first time in 16 months they will be able to move towards profitability, which is vital for the future of a sector beset by Covid-related debts."

Nicholls added: “For profitability to be reached as soon as possible, it’s vital that businesses are able to reach their own solutions, to suit their settings, satisfy their risk assessments and optimise implementation costs while ensuring safety. The voluntary nature of the Government guidance should ensure that this is achievable.”

Tuesday 13 July, 09.22 - BBPA warns against restrictions 'via the backdoor' 

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has warned that more clarity is needed with guidance for businesses for operating beyond 19 July.

Lockdown end: ministers confirmed all remaining legal restrictions for businesses would be lifted on Monday 19 July (image: Jamie Garbutt / Getty)
Lockdown end: ministers confirmed all remaining legal restrictions for businesses would be lifted on Monday 19 July (image: Jamie Garbutt / Getty)

Lifting social distancing and vertical drinking restrictions on 19 July will allow around 2,000 pubs to reopen that previously could not reopen, the trade body said.

The sector's recovery was just beginning, BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said and called for further clarity for businesses. 

She added: “We do have concerns over guidance for the sector, expected to be published soon, as restrictions are lifted. We await the detail of this but are resolute that any new guidance must not be used to impose unnecessary and unfair restrictions on pubs via the backdoor – resulting in ‘Freedom Day’ for pubs being in name only.”

Guidance for businesses was supposed to be published yesterday (Monday 12 July) but is yet to be available on the Government website.

Ministers have advised nightclubs to operate their own Covid passport schemes by asking customers to use the NHS app's Covid Pass.

16.59 - Health secretary confirms step four easing

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid has confirmed the country will move to step four of the Government’s roadmap next Monday (19 July).

Ahead of an expected announcement from the Prime Minister later today (Monday 12 July), Javid made a statement in the House of Commons.

He also predicted how case numbers will get worse before they get better, potentially reaching 100,000 cases a day later in the summer but added that hospitalisations are far lower than at this point in the previous wave.

The health secretary went on to outline how on the basis of evidence, the Government does not believe infection rates will be “unsustainable pressure on the NHS”.

14.58 - Delivery drivers' extended hours ‘not answer to haulier shortage’

A temporary extension of working hours for delivery drivers will not solve the current staffing crisis in the logistics sector, one trade body has warned.

Last month (June), The Morning Advertiser ​reported a national lack of HGV drivers due to the coronavirus pandemic was hit further by the reopening of shops and the hospitality sector, causing concerns about costs.

The shortage of about 65,000 trained drivers is affecting the speed and cost of deliveries across the country, one driving trade body said.

According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the HGV driver shortage has now reached “catastrophic proportions”​.

11.23 - Vaccine passports on the cards for autumn

Vaccine passports could be introduced to prevent pub shutdowns in England this autumn, it has been reported.

Pubgoers could be required to show proof of protection from coronavirus on entry in the autumn months, Downing Street sources have told The Times​ newspaper.

Customers would be asked to display evidence of their vaccination status, a recent negative test result or proof they had immunity from recently having the virus.

Ministers are considering the plans after concerns that vaccination uptake has slowed down among young people, according to the newspaper.

09.45 - Pubs celebrate sales boost before England suffers Euros defeat

Pubs have enjoyed rocketing drinks sales as they benefited from England progressing to the final game in the Euros football tournament. 

Operators shared images of football fans watching the match at their venues yesterday (Sunday 11 July) before England lost out to Italy in a penalty shootout. 

  • How did the Euros impact trade at your site? Get in touch on rzvyl.unjxvaf@jeoz.pbz​ to share your experiences of the tournament. 

Monday 12 July, 09.00 - Guidance expected on future beyond lockdowns

The Prime Minister is expected to confirm all remaining lockdown laws on hospitality will be lifted on Monday 19 July at a press conference later today (Monday 12 July).

Lockdown live: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to announce that the country will move to step four of the unlocking roadmap (image: Pixabay)
Lockdown live: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to announce that the country will move to step four of the unlocking roadmap (image: Pixabay)

The country must meet four tests to be able to ease restrictions which concern the success of the vaccine rollout, the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing hospitalisations and deaths, infection rates' pressure on the NHS and variants of the virus.

Guidance for businesses is also expected to be published today, which will provide operators with some clarity on what is expected of them beyond legal requirements.

An approach of personal responsibility will replace legal requirements with individuals encouraged to wear a face covering when in crowded, indoor spaces such as public transport.

Pub bosses told The Morning Advertiser (MA)​ they were still debating whether or not to encourage or require staff members to wear masks.

Speaking ahead of the Downing Street press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We are tantalisingly close to the final milestone in our roadmap out of lockdown, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a warning."

14.25 - Millions could be asked to self-isolate this summer

Analysis by the BBC has found that more than 4.5m people could be asked to self-isolate before 16 August.

That is the date when people who are double vaccinated will not have to self-isolate for up to 10 days if they come into contact with someone infectious.

Hospitality bosses have said the change will not help save their venues from being hit by staff shortages as most workers will be waiting until September for their second dose because of their age.

10.48 - Pubs permitted to stay open later for Euros final

Licensing laws will be relaxed, allowing the on-trade to remain trading for an additional 45 minutes this Sunday (11 July), the Government has confirmed.

The UEFA Euro 2020 tournament final will be taking place at Wembley Stadium this weekend and pubs will be allowed to stay open until 11.15pm, regardless of if England make the final or not.

The change is expected to be made via a temporary amendment to licensing laws in England and Wales and is set to mean pubs will not have to apply to their local council for an extension to their opening hours.

According to the BBC​, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “The entire nation has been gripped by the Euros and this will allow people to enjoy the match in pubs if they wish to do so.”

Reporting by Nikkie Thatcher

09.43 - Vote: will masks for staff stay or go?

City Pub Group has said it intends to continue with mask wearing rules in its venues while other companies have said the decision will be up to staff.

Vote in our poll below.

Survey

Will you ask staff to continue wearing masks after 19 July?

  • Yes

    38%
  • No

    45%
  • Unsure

    17%

Wednesday 7 July, 09.16 - Up to a third of sector off work isolating

As many as one third of the hospitality workforce could be off work self-isolating, UK Hospitality has estimated.

Lockdown live: pubs have been hit by self-isolation rules which have seen many workers forced to stay at home for up to ten days (image: Justin Paget / Getty)
Lockdown live: pubs have been hit by self-isolation rules which have seen many workers forced to stay at home for up to ten days (image: Justin Paget / Getty)

It comes as pub bosses criticised the health secretary yesterday for not going far enough to aid the sector.

More than half of hospitality staff (60%) are aged between 15 to 34 so most will not be double jabbed by 16 August, UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls added.

  • How have you been impacted by staff having to isolate? Do you support the Government's proposals or think a test and release scheme should be introduced to speed up the process? Get in touch on rzvyl.unjxvaf@jeoz.pbz​ 

16.26 - Isolation proposals don't go 'far enough, quickly enough'

In response to the health secretary's announcement earlier, UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls, said: “Today’s announcement doesn’t go far enough, quickly enough.

"The sector is experiencing severe staff shortages, compounded massively by the absence of team members who have been told to isolate despite not having shared shifts with colleagues who tested positive.

“Introducing a test to release system for fully vaccinated people from the middle of next month not only fails to recognise the carnage the current system is causing hospitality and the wider economy, but also significantly discriminates against a huge proportion of our workforce."

Around 60% of hospitality staff are aged between 15-34, meaning most will not be double jabbed by 16 August, Nicholls added.

She added: “With cases predicted to continue to rise, this means that hospitality’s recovery after 16 months of lockdown and severely disrupted trading will be harmed.

"Operators will be forced into reducing their operating hours or closing venues completely. We urge the Government to move quicker on this issue to prevent the summer being cancelled and vast swathes of the population unnecessarily confined to their homes.”

15.10 - Changes to self-isolation announced

Ministers have said the system will be changed for fully vaccinated people who are identified as close contacts of individuals who test positive for the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans for life beyond lockdown laws last night (5 July)​ and said the virus will be managed with a test, trace and isolate system “proportionate to the pandemic.”

Health secretary Sajid Javid said: "The odds have shifted in our favour and we can look afresh at many of the measures we have had to put in place".

From 16 August anyone who is a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate if they have had two jabs, he told MPs today.

Fully vaccinated people identified as contacts will be advised to take a PCR test and must isolate if it returns a positive result.

Those who receive a second dose around 16 August must wait two weeks before being eligible for the change in order for immunity to develop.

However, many hospitality workers are under 30 and so will not have received two doses of a vaccine by this time.

12.16 - Pubco boss welcomes 'possibility of profitable trading'

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, welcomed the “possibility of profitable trading for the first time since March last year” from 19 July.

Mackenzie called on the Government to support the sector with business rates and duty reform and to tackle short term issues around recruitment.

He added: “We can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best and give our customers the great pub experience they so love and make the most of the remaining summer so we can start getting back to being a thriving industry. Only then can we rebuild and reinvest, supporting jobs and the wider UK economy when it is needed most.”

10.06 - Will you ask staff to continue wearing a mask?

Vote in our survey below.

surveys

Survey

Will you ask staff to continue wearing masks after 19 July?

  • Yes

    38%
  • No

    45%
  • Unsure

    17%

Tuesday 6 July, 09.19 - 'Guidance and good sense' to replace legal requirements

It will not be a legal requirement to wear a face covering from Monday 19 July.

Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Getty / Hispanolistic)
Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Getty / Hispanolistic)

Health secretary Sajid Javid told MPs yesterday: "In essence, our national response to Covid-19 will change, from one of rules and regulations, to one of guidance and good sense.

"We will revoke all social distancing guidance, including the two-metre rule, except for in some specific settings, such as ports of entry and medical settings, where it makes sense for those to continue.

"It will no longer be a legal requirement to wear face coverings in any setting, including on public transport - although we advise this as a voluntary measure for crowded and enclosed spaces."

16.39 - 44% of Brits say staff shortages have affected their local’s trading hours

Almost half of pub goers have seen local venues alter their trading hours or service patterns due to a lack of staff since the on-trade reopened under the Government’s roadmap.

According to research by global intelligence platform Streetbees, 44% of respondents said they were aware of local venues having to alter trading hours or service due to a lack of staff since pubs, bars, restaurants were allowed to reopen.

One third of those quizzed (32%) said they weren’t aware of such changes to staffing and service since sites resumed outdoor trading on 12 April and welcomed customers indoors on 17 May, while a quarter (24%) said they were “not sure”. 

Reporting by Stuart Stone

14.09 - Venues will 'have basic housekeeping protocols' post 19 July

NTIA boss Micheal Kill has said he is encouraged by reports that Covid measures will be eased from 19 July. 

He added: "I am sure many businesses, through choice, and to ensure they retain a level of customer confidence will have basic housekeeping protocols in place post 19th July, and we are more than confident as a sector that improvements over the last 20 years in ventilation will satisfy some of the strictest air change requirements."

12.34 - Pubs won't be required to ask for contact details from 19 July

Customers will not be required to provide their contact details when visiting a pub in England from Monday 19 July, it has been reported.

Pubs must currently ensure every visitor to a venue leaves their contact details either on paper or through scanning a QR code on the NHS Covid-19 app.

Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord welcomed newspaper reports of the change over the weekend.

He said: “The crisis has seen countless unfair protocols put in place, with strict processes demanded for hospitality while other sectors such as retail have been free to operate normally. From the start, we have argued against the data collection process which unfairly discriminated against hospitality and made for an uneven playing field on our path to recovery.”

11.07 - PM to announce end of restrictions

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to set out how he will “restore people’s freedoms” by removing all Covid measures including face-covering and social distancing laws.

Unlocking announcement: Prime Minister Boris Johnson will update the country about what life will look like on Monday 19 July (image: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street via Flickr)
Unlocking announcement: Prime Minister Boris Johnson will update the country about what life will look like on Monday 19 July (image: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street via Flickr)

Johnson will address the country later today (Monday 5 July) on what life will look like under step four of the Government’s unlocking roadmap, set for Monday 19 July.

The decision on ‘freedom day’ will be given the official greenlight on 12 July, providing all four tests for lifting restrictions are met.

Covid laws are expected to be replaced with guidance and an approach of personal responsibility with individuals able to decide if they want to continue wearing masks.

Monday 5 July, 10.26 - PM not expected to announce isolation changes

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not expected to make any comments about the possibility of a test and release system for Covid-19 contacts today.

Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Getty / sturti)
Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Getty / sturti)

He will announce plans to "restore freedom" at a Downing Street press conference later today including plans for social distancing and face coverings.

However, he is not expected to address calls from businesses to adapt the self-isolation system.

Hospitality has been hit hard by staff having to take time off work to self-isolate after being identified as close contacts of infectious people.

When asked by The Morning Advertiser (MA)​ about pubs being forced to close due to a lack of staff, a Government spokesperson said: “Self-isolation is an essential part of our ongoing efforts to protect the public from Covid-19.

“By self-isolating people are helping to break the chains of transmission while protecting friends and family from the virus and minimising the risk of further disruption in schools.

“We will continue to do everything we can to support the hospitality sector to recover from the impact of Covid-19, following the reopening of indoor venues in England.”

14.54 - NTIA backs test and release scheme 

The Night Time Industries Association has joined calls for the Government to review and change its guidelines on self-isolation as hospitality was hit hard by staff off work this week.

Trade body boss Michael Kill said: “If we continue down this road we will be besieged by individual business lockdowns, hindering the recovery of the sector as we start to ease restrictions” “We are being inundated with businesses having to close due to staff being notified by Test and Trace, meaning thousands of workers are having to be sent home under the current isolation guidelines.” “The Government needs too consider amendments to the current guidelines to include a ‘Test and Release’ scheme instead, saving thousands of businesses and jobs across the sector.”

14.15 - 'Perfect storm of challenges'

12.15 - Inception Group report 'multiple site closures' amid isolating crisis

10.54 - Urgent review of ‘massively disruptive’ Test & Trace isolation needed

The Government has been urged to amend the Test & Trace system, which is forcing businesses to close and resulting in mass isolations, one trade association has warned.

Currently, if a member of staff is alerted by the NHS Test & Trace app as having been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, they have to isolate for up to 10 days.

Trade body UKHospitality (UKH) called on the Government to change the rules and introduce a ‘test and release’ system, similar to the one used for international travel.

UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “For some weeks, we have been telling the Government about the severe staff shortages at venues, compounded massively by the absence of staff members who have been told to isolate despite not having shared shifts with colleagues who tested positive.

Reporting by Nikkie Thatcher

Friday 2 July, 09.14 - Guidance for businesses on 12 July

Businesses can expect to see guidance published on Monday 12 July on what will be expected of them beyond pandemic restrictions.

Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Sarah Mason / Getty)
Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Sarah Mason / Getty)

All remaining restrictions on social contact will be lifted on 19 July with the Prime Minister referring to the date as a "terminus point".

It has been reported ministers intend to remove all mandatory mask and social distancing measures while guidance will suggest wearing face coverings on public transport and other crowded spaces.

The Evening Standard​ reported nightclubs will not be required to see revellers' negative test results or evidence of vaccination. 

However, Boris Johnson warned yesterday that there would be “extra precautions that we have to take” even after 19 July, suggesting some measures may remain.

16.58 - Another 27,989 positive cases

Some 27,989 coronavirus cases have been recorded in the UK alongside 22 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

This marks the highest number of cases that have been reported since 29 January - when 29,079 cases were reported.

15.31 - Some 'extra precautions' may remain beyond 19 July, PM suggests

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked whether measures such as social distancing and masks would be removed on 19 July by journalists.

He said: "I know how impatient people are to get back to total normality, as indeed am I."

"But I think I've said it before, we'll be wanting to go back to a world that is as close to the status quo, ante-Covid, as possible. Try to get back to life as close to it was before Covid.

"But there may be some things we have to do, extra precautions that we have to take, but I'll be setting them out."

13.29 - Pubs enjoy drinks sales boom during England v Germany

Drink sales in pubs have shot up by 176% since last week thanks to football fans supporting their locals.

Initial OrderPay data showed football fans have given pubs a total sales growth of 166% since the beginning of the tournament.

Now the data has revealed that drink sales at pubs increased 176% during the England v Germany match compared to last week where pubs saw an uplift of 104%.

Carling, Stella Artois, Fosters and Estrella were the biggest sellers during the match which saw England score two goals in a historic victory against the German team.

11.50 - 'We're going to have to lose some staff'

Nightclub operators will be feeling the hike in furlough contributions more than most.

Late-night venues continue to be closed after more than a year of Covid restrictions.

Terry George, a multiple site operator whose venues include the Mission night club in Leeds, told the BBC's Today programme, he anticipated job losses.

He said: "We can't afford to pay people out of a pot that has no money coming in. We're going to have to lose some staff."

"We were told that we were going to be back in June, obviously that's been extended a month," he added. "So the easiest thing to do would be to just extend the furlough scheme, as it was, until until things have got [back] to the same speed."

11.08 - Pubs forced to close as staff required to isolate

Pubs across the country have been forced to close after staff have been asked to self-isolate.

Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Getty / avdee007)
Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Getty / avdee007)

Many pub workers have been alerted by the NHS Test and Trace app as coming into contact with an infectious person and had to self isolate for up to 10 days.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said this was an increasing issue for members, resulting in some sites being forced to cut opening hours or close totally.

Staff members are also being contacted by NHS contact-tracers after colleagues have tested positive while many hospitality workers are too young to have received two vaccine doses yet.

UKHospitality has called on the Government to change rules to introduce a ‘test and release’ system similar to that for international travel.

09.52 - Fullers boss laments 'current challenges'

Fullers' Simon Emeny has tweeted about strangled capacity limits, describing the impact on Euros trade.

Thursday 1 July, 09.35 - Bosses to contribute more to furlough 

Employers will now have to contribute 10% to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS), in addition to paying employer contributions such as national insurance and pension costs.

This contribution will rise to 20% in August and September.

The cost for bosses to retain a staff member on the scheme will rise from £155 per month currently to £322 in July and £489 in August and September, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Peter Thornton, CEO and investor relations director of two live music venues in London, said he believes the increased contributions will cost his business an additional £18,000 over the next three months.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today​ programme, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said it was right to begin tapering off support. “It was an exceptional policy for extreme times," he said.

Trade bodies have called for adjustments to be made for night-time sector businesses that have been forced to remain shut until 19 July.

  • How will your business be impacted by the winding down of furlough? Get in touch on rzvyl.unjxvaf@jeoz.pbz​ 

16.12 - Highest new cases since January

The UK has recorded 26,068 new coronavirus cases, as well as 14 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

This is the highest number of daily cases reported since 29 January..

14.56 - 'We urgently need test to release'

11.34 - 10% furlough contributions start this week

From tomorrow (Thursday 1 July), operators with staff on furlough will have to contribute 10% before it rises to 20% in August.This is in addition to the national insurance and pension contributions employers are already paying for furloughed workers.

The Chancellor originally announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (known as furlough) as the pandemic hit the UK in March 2020.

This first phase was due expire in May 2020 but was extended until June and then was continued until October and the 'flexible furlough' was also introduced in July, allowing employees to work part-time and be furloughed part-time.

Reporting by Nikkie Thatcher

10.09 - Reduction in support 'senseless'

The Mayor of London has said it is "senseless" for support to taper off for hospitality businesses despite continuing restrictions.

Wednesday 30 June, 09.30 - Vaccine passports dropped for large events, reports

Vaccine passports will not be imposed on mass events, The Mail​ has reported.

Ministers had been considering requiring music festival and sport event organisers to ask punters to show either proof of vaccination, recent immunity or a negative test result.

Instead, event organisers will be able to set up their own Covid check schemes if they choose.

The Government is thought to have dropped considerations for a scheme for pubs and restaurants after an industry backlash.

16.21 - Has your pub been impacted by self-isolating staff?

15.21 - Travel ban lifting welcomed

13.31 - Ireland halts reopening plans

Ireland has pushed back the next reopening stage for hospitality for at least two weeks, being the only European country yet to reopen indoor hospitality.

Pubs had hoped to reopen fully on 5 July as only double vaccinated people are permitted to dine indoors at the moment. 

However, concerns about a spike in Delta variant coronavirus cases means any further easing will be pushed back another fortnight.

Diners who can prove they have recovered from coronavirus are allowed to eat indoors at restaurants as well as fully vaccinated customers.

Around 40% of pubs in the country remain closed.

11.22 - Business rates holiday ending tomorrow

Full business rates will return this week (from Thursday 1 July) after a 15-month exemption period amid the pandemic.

However, rates will not go back up to the standard rates but will be reduced by about two thirds (67%) up to £2m for closed businesses with a lower cap for those who have been able to reopen. The reduced rate will be in place for nine months.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the extension of the original business rates holiday in his spring Budget​ earlier this year (March) and it was welcomed by trade body UKHospitality (UKH) at the time.

Reporting by Nikkie Thatcher

Tuesday 29 June, 09.24 - Restrictions lifting delay to cost pubs £400m

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has said in total the delay in easing restrictions will cost pubs £400m, with pubs set to lose out on an additional £200m in the next two weeks.

Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Getty / Henrik Sorensen)
Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Getty / Henrik Sorensen)

Their figures come after new health secretary Sajid Javid confirmed remaining lockdown laws would not be lifted before Monday 19 July.

The BBPA called on the Government to stick to this date and said any further delay would be "catastrophic" to the sector.

Javid told MPs yesterday (Monday 28 June) the Government's aim was that around two-thirds of all adults in England would have had both doses by 19 July.

"We see no reason to go beyond 19 July, he said, "because in truth: no date we choose comes with zero-risk for Covid."

15.31 - Restrictions to cost pubs 1.3m pints during England v Germany

Pubgoers are predicted to buy 5.25m pints tomorrow (Tuesday 29 June) when England face Germany in the knockout stages of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, one trade body has estimated.

However, this is more than 1m pints fewer that if all restrictions had been lifted on Monday 21 June, as per the Government’s proposed roadmap, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

This results in a loss of revenue to pubs in England of more than £5m during the game alone due to measures such as no standing, one metre-plus social distancing and the rule of six, the industry organisation said. It hopes 8m pints will be sold tomorrow, with 5.25m of those being served during the match itself.

Reporting by Nikkie Thatcher

12.39 - 'There is no going back'

10.38 - 10 coronavirus cases linked to clubbing pilots

Nightlife bosses have said the sector has been “marginalised” after a long awaited Government report found just 10 coronavirus cases associated with clubbing pilots.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) published conclusions from Events Research Programme pilot events held this spring, following pressure from businesses.

Across all the events, out of the 15% participants who returned both PCR tests, there were 28 PCR-positive cases recorded.

Some 11 were considered potentially infected before an event and 17 at or after an event.

Liverpool’s Circus warehouse nightclub held two ‘The First Dance’ clubbing pilot events, attended by 3,140 and 3,872 participants respectively. 

Social distancing or face coverings were not required at the event, alcohol and food was sold indoors and participants were tested with lateral flow tests before entering.

Monday 28 June, 09.52 - New health secretary to provide coronavirus update

New health secretary, Sajid Javid, will provide MPs with an update on plans for removing remaining Covid restrictions in England this afternoon.

Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Getty / Amanda Lewis)
Lockdown live: The Morning Advertiser will bring you the latest coronavirus news impacting the pub trade. (image: Getty / Amanda Lewis)

Javid is taking on the role following Matt Hancock's resignation at the weekend after an affair with his aide.

He is expected to outline the possibility of lifting restrictions before Monday 19 July and to confirm that it will not be possible to lift any rules on Monday 5 July.

He told journalists yesterday: "We are still in a pandemic, and I want to see that come to an end as soon as possible. That will be my immediate priority — to see that we return to normal, as soon and as quickly as possible.”

Related topics: Legislation

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