£7.8 billion worth of trading due to be wiped out due to new tier system, UKHospitality claims

The trade body says the new restrictions place 98% of the UK's hospitality trade in tiers 2 or 3.

Should the restrictions last the entire month of December, an estimated £7.8 billion worth of trading is set to be wiped out compared to 2019, according to UKHospitality (UKH).

“The new tier system will deliver another huge blow to hospitality, with 98% of trade now happening in tier 2 or 3 regions,” UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said in a statement.

“These are safe spaces for people to meet, relax and socialise and the sector is desperate to get staff back to work, open their doors and, in the long term, diminish reliance on the public purse and begin driving economic recovery.”

Nicholls adds new tiers will see over 120,000 venues across England placed into Tier 2, with tens of thousands of these “forced to close as they are unable to provide a table meal, either physically or financially.”

“This affects the employment of nearly 1.5 million people. Under this severe restriction, 94% of our members say they will be unviable or trading at a loss. For the 38,000 businesses in Tier 3, employing over 540,000 there is no option but to provide takeaway or close altogether,” she explained.

Nicholls argues they have any evidence that hospitality venues are a “problem area” in terms of infection, citing a recent UKH survey where 72% of visitors to hospitality were satisfied with the safety of its venues, compared to just 11% who were not.

“If we want to see businesses survive, then we desperately need a replacement for the Job Retention Bonus Scheme and for the Government to extend the rent moratoria and broker a solution to tackle the issue of rent debt that has built up. If we want to give those businesses that do survive this winter a better chance at succeeding next year, then the VAT cut and businesses rates holiday must now be extended and grants provided to support businesses paid out at the earliest opportunity.”

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