Kate Nicholls, CEO of industry trade body UKHospitality, has urged the Government to ‘act now’ to protect the sector after Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised the general public to stay away from pubs, restaurants and non-necessary travel in a bid to combat the virus outbreak.
Nicholls called the move ‘catastrophic’ for business and jobs, which could lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses and business closures as people take heed of the latest Government advice announced last night.
Her full statement read: “This is catastrophic for businesses and jobs. The government has effectively shut the hospitality industry without any support, and this announcement will lead to thousands of businesses closing their doors for good, and hundreds of thousands of job losses.
“Over the past few weeks the industry has suffered unprecedented drops in visits and many business are already on their knees. This latest advice leaves the industry in limbo, with no recourse to insurance.
“The Government must act now to stop them going under and protect the people’s jobs. These venues play a unique role as community hubs and it’s in all our interests to protect and preserve them so they are still there once we emerge from this crisis.
“We need immediate and far-reaching support from the government, and meaningful business continuity measures.”