A third of bars, pubs and clubs could close by New Year’s Eve as hospitality bosses plead for clarity from ministers on COVID 19 restrictions.
The industry is facing a tumultuous Christmas and bosses have called for financial support amid a rise of the Omicron variant.
Peter Marks, chief executive at REKOM, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that running a nightclub has been extraordinarily difficult and called for ministers to slash VAT for venue entry and that if we have restrictions they need money to survive.
A survey by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) of more than five hundred nightclubs, bars, pubs and hospitality outlets has indicated that the sector faces a tumultuous Christmas.
One-fifth of nightlife businesses could lose their entire workforce and one third fear closure within a month without urgent Government help following new COVID restrictions and Omicron uncertainty.
On average, nighttime economy venues have lost £46,000 per unit in lost sales and cancellations during the festive period.
Jonathan Neame, Shepherd Neame chief executive told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme his chain saw a considerable reduction in footfall in London.
In other coronavirus news, all sporting events in Wales will be held behind closed doors from Boxing Day due to the surge in coronavirus cases.
London’s New Year’s Eve festivities event in Trafalgar Square won’t take place because of the surge in cases of the Omicron COVID variant in the capital.
Boris Johnson has stepped back from imposing punitive lockdown curbs that would have ruined Christmas after a lengthy Cabinet meeting called for indisputable evidence on the Omicron variant.
Cambridge professor Sir David Spiegelhalter said the fact that half of the patient’s in London hospitals were only diagnosed with COVID after admission with another illness showed COVID was rampant in London.
Boris Johnson’s ex-aide Dominic Cummings and ex Health Secretary Matt Hancock have been revealed to be among government staff pictured working in the Downing Street garden during the lockdown.
Over half of businesses required to introduce COVID Certification for entry to their premises report seeing over a 40 per cent decline in footfall, and half of all businesses in the nighttime economy will have to cut over half of jobs in their workforce if the Government doesn’t deliver proportional financial support.
Mr Marks added that they can’t say how much the problem of shrinkage they’ve had in the last few days has been down to vaccine passports or whether it’s been down to the fear of going out, but that what he could say was that they’re running at 40 per cent down at a period of time which was absolutely essential for them as a business.
This country is ruined and the Government have done this to businesses and now they’re suffering.
The Government have been criticised for locking down, criticised for not locking down, appears they can’t do right from wrong and who in their right mind would want to be a cabinet minister right now?
Businesses make more money on the lead up to Christmas than they do all year round. Take that away and those businesses are going to go bankrupt, and it seems that the Government are hellbent on demolishing the economy.
But are we really expected to believe that crowds of people in Regents Street all rushed home without having a meal or drink because they were all worried about COVID despite spending the day in crowds of people and shops?
It’s Christmas and everyone will have been running about like headless chickens to get their Christmas gifts, although the streets will have been less busy than normal because of all this scaremongering, but this is what Governments want, to keep people indoors so that they can do their shopping online, that way Governments can keep an eye on us and manipulate what we do. There’s an agenda here, but nobody can see it!