UKHospitality has warned businesses will be pushed towards failure and more jobs will be put at risk as a result of the government’s announcement to move London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire into Tier 3 this week.
The trade body said that the government’s tier system places an “unfair, illogical and disproportionate burden” on hospitality businesses without effectively tackling the spread of Covid-19.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive for UKHospitality, warned that putting hospitality businesses back into lockdown will “not tackle” increasing infection rates, whilst endangering businesses in the industry.
She reiterated that there is still no “hard evidence” that hospitality venues are a significant contributor to the recent rise in infections, adding that cases were higher at the end of the last lockdown, when hospitality had been entirely shut down.
Nicholls said: “The spread is being predominantly driven through schools even the Mayor of London has pointed this out and called for schools to stay shut until January. Yet, once again, it is hospitality that will take the hit.
“The government is cracking down on hospitality for an increase in the infection rates that occurred during a period when hospitality was forcibly closed. It makes no sense. So many pubs, restaurants, bars, cafes and hotels, having invested so much to make their venues safe, are only just clinging on by the skin of their teeth, but will be forced to take another huge hit.”
She added: “The burden of a region being moved into tier 3 falls almost exclusively on hospitality businesses. It is an illogical tactic that fails to tackle COVID effectively but does push businesses closer towards failure.
“The government must rethink its strategy to combat the spread of Covid-19, including moving areas like Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham into Tier 2. Just continuing to batter hospitality is not the answer.”