Late-night trade slashed by a quarter after Covid Pass rollout

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Agonising impact: Covid Pass expansion would be "devastating" for Wales' hospitality sector (Getty/ Thomas Barwick)
Agonising impact: Covid Pass expansion would be "devastating" for Wales' hospitality sector (Getty/ Thomas Barwick)

Related tags Legislation Finance Wales Social responsibility Late night

The implementation of Covid Passes has considerably impacted the Welsh hospitality sector, with late-night businesses experiencing a 26% drop in trade since the rollout, which costs businesses approximately £398 per week in added cost, a poll revealed.

The flash poll revealed companies that have altered their businesses models to avoid having to implement the Covid Pass have lost between 10 to 15% of trade, including reducing operating hours, removing dance floors and switching off music.

Furthermore, the poll, which included data from over 100 businesses within the Welsh night-time economy, showed Covid Pass implementation could cost businesses an additional £21,000 in operating costs per year.

Lack of support

Chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Michael Kill said: “It is clear businesses that are currently burdened with the Covid Pass have had to endure further losses, coupled with debt from closure, whilst being saddled with the cost of implementing these additional mitigations with no financial support.

“The targeting of businesses within this sector, even with clear evidence that there are other settings which have a considerable impact on the spread of this virus is astounding.”

Kill called for the Welsh Government to support hospitality after the sector showed “unprecedented” commitment to the Government’s public health strategy.

Devastating impact

Pre-Covid, the night-time economy sector was worth £112bn to the UK economy per year making it the 10th largest UK employer through the provision of 1.9 million jobs upwards.

Kill said: “It is now time to consider the real financial impact on these businesses and give them the support they truly deserve and end the uncertainty along with these unsubstantiated measures.”

An NTIA spokesperson said this support could include financial support for businesses to manage additional costs of mitigations, as many are overwhelmed with debt from long term closure, making the further business losses “agonising”.

According to the spokesperson, the Welsh Government had underplayed the impact of Covid Passes on business.

The spokesperson said any further expansion of the Covid Pass to the wider hospitality sector would have “a devastating impact on trade and will reverse the recovery process for an entire sector.”

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