Early end to restrictions 'welcome relief' for sector

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

PM announces all Covid restrictions could end a month early: sector calls proposal a 'welcome relief' (Credit: Andrew Parsons via No 10 Downing Street Flickr)
PM announces all Covid restrictions could end a month early: sector calls proposal a 'welcome relief' (Credit: Andrew Parsons via No 10 Downing Street Flickr)

Related tags: Legislation, Coronavirus, NTIA

Plans to scrap Covid restrictions before March have been lauded by the sector as changes would be a “welcome relief.”

During Prime Ministers Questions yesterday (Wednesday 9 February), Boris Johnson announced the Government’s proposed plans to end all Covid restrictions across the country before the original proposed end date of 24 March. 

The Prime Minister told the House of Commons: "It is my intention to return on the first day after the half-term recess to present our strategy for living with Covid.

Ending domestic restrictions 

"Provided the current encouraging trends in the data continue, it is my expectation that we will be able to end the last domestic restrictions, including the legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive, a full month early." 

Under the current rules, those who test positive must isolate for a minimum of five days, which has made the staff-shortage crisis within hospitality harder to manage. 

Covid restrictions have been set to be replaced with guidance, rather than laws, and those with a positive Covid result will instead be advised not to attend work as opposed to instructed by the Government.

Night-Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill said: "We are extremely pleased to hear within Prime Minister's Question’s that the Government is looking to scrap the remaining restrictions over the coming weeks including the requirements for people to isolate.

Welcome relief 

"The impact of Covid isolation periods on the hospitality and night-time economy workforce has been extremely challenging for businesses. These proposed changes would be a welcome relief and would go some way to helping the sector recover.”

However, hospitality would still have some way to go to fully cover even after the lifting of all restrictions, according to trade bodies across the sector.

Kill added: "I would now even at this late stage urge the Chancellor to postpone all tax increases; on national insurance, VAT and business rates, to give some perfectly viable hospitality and night-time economy businesses a fighting chance of survival.”

Related topics: Legislation

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