Businesses warn of ‘catastrophic’ impact of new Covid restrictions without state help

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Unless the government provides more financial aid, COVID Plan B measures will lead to job losses over Christmas, warns Boris Johnson.

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Trade groups and unions called on ministers to reintroduce state help to help cushion the financial impact of new public health measures, including mandatory coverings and work-from-home orders where possible Is.

The hospitality industry trade body warned of “disastrous” consequences unless ministers bring more help to the sector, including full commercial rate relief, extension of grants, rent protection and VAT reduction.


The Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) said clubs and bars had been “thrown under a bus” by the government, accusing ministers of issuing mixed messages on vaccine passports before starting “at the worst of times”. was imposed.

Pubs, bars and restaurants in England had already reported a slump in business and cancellations of Christmas party bookings as fears grew about the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, of which scientists say cases every two or so. Doubling in three days.

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According to NTIA data, bookings in Scotland, where vaccine passports are already in place, are down 30 per cent.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said: “The need for people to work from home during the busy Christmas period will hit jobs – until ministers return.”

At a press conference in Downing Street on Wednesday evening, the prime minister laid out new measures to slow the spread of Omicron that will go into effect next week.

Vaccine passports to be introduced for nightclubs and large venues from December 15

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Vaccine passports to be introduced for nightclubs and large venues from December 15

Wearing of face masks will become mandatory in indoor public places including cinema halls, cinema halls and places of worship from Friday. Masks will not be mandatory in pubs and restaurants. However, hospitality firms fear they will be hit hard by the new guidance to work from home wherever possible from Monday.

Vaccine passports will be introduced from December 15 for nightclubs and large venues. Anyone entering must have an NHS COVID pass which can be protected by taking two vaccines or a negative lateral flow test.

The new restrictions came as Mr Johnson faced mounting anger about allegations that parties held in Downing Street during last year’s lockdown.

Kate Nichols, head of trade body UK Hospitality, expressed her disappointment about the announcement. “While the Government unequivocally acknowledges that hospitality is safe and may continue to host celebrations in the lead up to Christmas, the measures announced today will significantly impact consumer confidence and especially in downtown and city center locations. would be disastrous.”

NTIA chief executive Michael Kiel said the Plan B announcement was “devastating news” for the nightlife industry.

“The UK government has twice rejected vaccine passports before changing its mind. The mixed public health messages that are coming out of the government this week have come at the worst possible time – the pre-Christmas period in our region. Absolutely important for.

“Far from saving Christmas, the prime minister has given our region the terrifying present of more pain for businesses that are desperately trying to make up for the losses already in the pandemic.”

Gay nightclub owner Jeremy Joseph said there has been more “panic” about going out in the past few weeks.

He played on BBC Radio 4s. told Today Program: “I feel like I’m constantly on eggshells and in survival mode.”

Mr Joseph said the new restrictions “make no sense”, pointing out that they have three venues and that each venue will have different rules.

“It doesn’t make any sense. It’s as if this government thinks COVID will go: ‘That venue has less than 500 capacity so I won’t go there’,” he said.

Businessman Sir John Timpson, founding of shoe repair chain Timpson, said fewer customers have been visiting the High Street in the past 10 days than in two weeks.

They told Today: “The change in trade across the country was almost immediate and there was a drop in footfall of about 5 per cent.

“So it’s much more of a phycological thing than an actual sanctions, but I expect the footfall to probably be less now because we’ve announced that.”


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