Coronavirus

Fifth of businesses report cancellations amid Omicron

Nearly half (44%) of businesses in the accommodation and food service activities industry reported an increase in cancellations

Just over one-fifth (21%) of businesses that are still trading experienced an increase in cancellations from customers in the last month, as Omicron continued to impact businesses across the UK. 

The latest figures come from the Office for National Statistics, who asked businesses that had not permanently stopped trading if they experienced a change in the number of cancellations from customers in the last month.

Nearly half (44%) of businesses in the accommodation and food service activities industry reported an increase in cancellations. 

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Some 67% of accommodation businesses reported they had experienced an increase in cancellations in the last month, compared with 41% in the food and beverage service industry.

Meanwhile, the other service activities industry, which includes hairdressing and other beauty treatments, had the highest proportion of businesses reporting increased cancellations in the last month, at 64%, marking a 14% rise against the month before.

It comes as the ONS also found that 3% of the workforce were estimated to be on sick leave or not working because of Covid symptoms, self-isolation or quarantine last month. 

It said this was the highest the figure has been since comparable estimates began in June 2020. The other service activities industry, which includes hairdressing and other beauty treatments, reported the highest absence levels at 7%.

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