UKHospitality Comments on UK Government's Covid Winter Plan

Commenting on the Government’s plan to tackle Covid this winter, Kate Nicholls UKHospitality Chief Executive said:

“It’s critical for the recovery of the hospitality sector and the wider economy that businesses are allowed to continue to operate in viable conditions throughout this winter. Hospitality venues are still in a fragile state with significant debts, making their first steps on the road to recovery and rebuilding broken balance sheets, any setbacks over the coming months will result in more businesses closures. The announcement from the Secretary of State, the continued focus on vaccination roll out and boosters, is much welcome, as their success has been critical to protecting our healthcare system while allowing for the reopening of the economy and businesses to trade without restrictions.

“However, we must caution Government that the introduction of those measures that are left in reserve for this winter, would have significant and drastic impacts on the sector. The use of vaccine passports, logistically unworkable and with questionable effectiveness, will have a devastating effect on nightclubs and large-scale events. These sectors have been hit hardest and have been at the very back of the queue for reopening and such measures would severely undermine their profitability and ability to recover over the winter months. Similarly, work from home orders or guidance would have a significant impact on our city and town centres, not only damaged by restrictions and enforced closures but also significantly reduced footfall.”