Yesterday (4 January), Boris Johnson announced England will return to lockdown level restrictions until, at least, the middle of February.
Similar restrictions are also now in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as the rate of Covid-19 infection rises across the country.
As hospitality establishments close once more across the country, UKHospitality’s chief executive Kate Nicholls is calling for a road map out of this crisis and offering help.
Nicholls said: “Tighter restrictions are a clear and grave indication that we are still a long way from normality. That means hospitality businesses are a long way from being able to begin to trade their way back to safety and keep jobs alive.
“In which case, the Government has to be clear about how it is going to make the best possible use of this time. It needs to be used effectively to provide a rapid and extensive roll out of the vaccine and we need a clear exit strategy along with a road map for recovery and business support.”
She added: “The hospitality sector can assist in the rapid roll out of the vaccine and we are keen to repay the support shown to us. Our sector is sitting on well-ventilated, COVID-secure spaces such as hotels, conference centres, pubs and restaurants which can be used and businesses are already coming forward to offer locations to expedite a mass vaccination programme.
“It is also more important than ever that hospitality businesses, who were hit first and hardest by this crisis are given another package of grants to keep businesses alive. This has to come alongside an extension of the VAT cut and business rates holiday, which were already urgently needed even before these further restrictions were announced.”