UKH claims roadmap to reopening will be ‘devastating’ for sector

UKHospitality has claimed that the roadmap to reopening will be “devastating” for the hospitality sector, which is one of the last things to reopen in the new plan.

The news follows the recently announced plans by the government to reopen certain industries and ease lockdown restrictions which will start 8 March with schools.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive, UKH, stated that from the start of November 2020, the sector will have been closed for nearly 200 days, with just a couple of weeks of “heavily restricted trading” in December.

She reiterated that vaccinations and the fall in infection rates has “de-risked” reopening even further, adding that this delay in reopening will make survival “all the more difficult for businesses” in the industry.

When speaking about hotels, Nicholls said: “Hotels have been housing key workers, NHS staff and vulnerable people through the peaks of the pandemic. They have been helping quarantine arrivals to the UK and they have been operating successfully and securely.

“They already have their tried and tested systems in place to keep guests and staff safe. Pushing back the reopening of hotels to late May makes little sense.”

Nicholls emphasised, the sector needs a “generous compensation package” that goes beyond what was offered in January if it expects businesses to survive, adding that businesses will also need a commitment by the government to “eliminate new costs” that are due to hit, such as HMRC tax bills and loan repayments.

She has also called for an extension of the VAT cut and business rates holiday with a “targeted extension” of the furlough scheme.

She said: “We must also have an extension of the rent moratorium, with loan repayments and HMRC debt delayed in order to give businesses some breathing room from the ruinous mountain of debt that has built up for too many.

“Asking businesses to start paying this money back when they are not even open could be terminal for many.”

Please log in for access

Thanks for subscribing!

An email confirmation will be sent to your registered email address with a link for you to click on to confirm this request is genuine.  Please note that no newsletters will be sent to you until the request is confirmed.  If you do not receive the link, please check your junk folder or else contact NewsTeam@Clanalytix.com.

This website uses cookies to ensure our visitors get the best user experience and to analyse site traffic.  To continue browsing our site, please confirm your acceptance of our Privacy Policy and use of cookies.