Gov't urged to confirm reopening date for hospitality businesses

UKHospitality reiterated the “urgent need for clarity” in order to reactivate workers and resume business.

The government needs to confirm a reopening date for hospitality and tourism in order for businesses to have enough time to prepare in reopening their doors, according to UKHospitality.

In response to the announced review of social distancing requirements, the trade body has written to Secretaries of State at BEIS and DCMS, to “reiterate the urgent need for clarity in order to reactivate workers and resume business.”

“Businesses need time to prepare and the first step in giving them some much-needed clarity is confirmation of when they can open their doors again,” UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said. “This is particularly important for hotels and tourism, where 60% of bookings are made more than two weeks in advance. If the sector is to reopen on 4 July, that only gives us two weeks from this weekend, so time is of the essence.”

Whilst a review of the two-metre social distancing rule is a “positive show of intent” for hospitality, Nicholls said that certainty on the proposed date is “conspicuously absent.”

“If we want the reopening to be a success, we must have confirmation of the reopening date, alongside COVID secure guidelines for the sector, supported by a commitment from the Government to support tourism and hospitality businesses through a cut in tourism VAT and Air Passenger Duty, an extension of the rent moratorium to protect from landlord activity and the creation of an autumn Bank Holiday,” she added.

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