Sector welcomes no new Covid rules in England before new year

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

State announcement: the Government has confirmed no new coronavirus restrictions will be brought in before new year (image: Getty/GoranQ)
State announcement: the Government has confirmed no new coronavirus restrictions will be brought in before new year (image: Getty/GoranQ)

Related tags Legislation Government ukhospitality Night-time economy

Health secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed there will not be any further Covid restrictions in England before new year.

On Monday (27 December), Javid added the Government would review the situation in January and urged people to remain cautious and celebrate outside on New Year’s Eve if possible.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the data would continue to be monitored carefully but no new measures would be brought in.

He went on to call on people to act cautiously given the number of rising Omicron cases and urged people to get vaccinated.

Plan with some certainty

Night-Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill said: “Following an extremely anxious few weeks for our sector, we are pleased the Prime Minister listened to us and announced no further restrictions will be implemented before new year.

“Our industry can now start to plan with some certainty over the next week and make up for lost time promoting one of the key nights of the year in the coming days.

“It is important that given this opportunity, we continue to recognise our responsibility to the public health strategy and urge our customers to not only support us during this period but play their part in ensuring this is the start of our recovery.

“We urge the Government, in light of the challenges we have faced over the past month, that they work with us to generate a long-term strategy for managing Covid variants. It is clear the open, close strategy, which has had a huge impact on our industry, is not sustainable.”

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls also welcomed the health secretary’s announcement on social media.

Business and jobs protection

She tweeted: “Really welcome news for hospitality businesses – losing new year on top of December would have been devastating and keeping restrictions to a minimum helps protect businesses and jobs.”

This comes as Scotland and Wales tightened rules on hospitality businesses. From 6am on Boxing Day, measures for pubs in Wales​ including the rule of six and face masks have been in place.

For Scottish pubs​, restrictions are in place for three weeks from 27 December, also including a return to table service-only for sites serving alcohol, one-metre distancing between groups and no more than three households represented in any group.

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