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UKHospitality slams Covid Winter Plan

UKHospitality has criticised PM Boris Johnson’s ‘Covid Winter Plan’, warning that the government is at risk of “killing Christmas” for those who work in the hospitality sector. 

The trade body has said that the measures, which will see businesses in tier three permitted to provide takeaway only and those in tier two restricted to “substantial meals”, will lead to “permanent closures and job losses.”

Johnson, who outlined the new rules for the hospitality sector yesterday, described the restrictions as a necessity in order to carry the country “safely to spring”. 

The group has also accused the government of failing to recognise that for many staff in the sector this will be a Christmas “out of work”.

Just yesterday, hospitality market research company CGA conducted a survey on behalf of the union which revealed that by February 2021, over 750,000 hospitality employees will face redundancy. 

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive said: “If there needs to be a tightening of restrictions, it should not come at the expense of hospitality. 

“Only a small fraction of cases have been linked to our businesses and venues have shown that they can provide safe environments for customers and staff.” 

She added: “If the Government pursues this course of action, it is going to mean permanent closures and job losses. Tier 3 will be lockdown in everything but name for hospitality and will leave businesses almost no room for manoeuvre. 

“With household mixing still not permitted, businesses in tier 2 are going to find revenues severely slashed at a crucial time for the sector.”

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