Restaurants, pubs and retail stores in the UK are calling urgently For more government support, businesses are shutting down complaining that the restrictions were announced this month to counter the growth of COVID-19.
Organizations representing more than 100,000 businesses sent an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, saying more tax relief and grants were needed.
Although the rise in coronavirus cases Brought on by the fast-moving Omicron version that has not yet resulted in a strict lockdown imposed by the Dutch government over the weekend, British businesses argue that a combination of mask mandates, vaccination requirements and uncertainty during the holiday peak season threatens their existence. puts in. ,
The retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are “on the edge”, said Matthew Sims, who helped organize the campaign and led a business improvement group in Croydon, south of London. Describing the current aid as inadequate, Mr Sims said there were “measures for an open economy that was beginning to recover; we are no longer in that place.”
Restaurants, pubs and bars have said that since the government added a new series of restrictions on December 8, known as Plan B, as a reaction to the highly permeable Omicron version, dinner and party cancellations have been made. The process has started and foot traffic has disappeared. in some areas.
At Gordon’s Wine Bar in central London, the festive season was in full swing – and it wasn’t then.
“You could feel Christmas was coming, the buzz, the lights were on,” said Amanda Whiteside, administration manager at Gordon’s, which describes itself as the city’s oldest wine bar. Before the boom gained momentum, it was common for each table in its cavernous basement and on its outdoor patio to be packed and a long queue of customers.
“And then it’s gone,” said Ms. Whiteside. “It was very dramatic.”
She said customers became thinner and several staff members got covid. Gordon’s is now serving only outdoors, and Ms. Whiteside estimates sales to drop by about 25 percent.
The Coach and Horse Pub in Soho is similarly struggling with fewer customers and sick staff. Last week, trading was closed by a third of what was normally expected, while on Monday, it “falled off the edge of a cliff,” said manager Alison Ross.
Three out of four full-time staff members and two out of four part-time employees had contracted COVID. Ms. Ross has taken temporary assistance and plans to close several hours in a few days.
Coach & Horse is one of about 400 pubs owned by Fuller, Smith & Turner, which began as a brewing company. Chief Executive Officer Simon Emany has called for further assistance from the Johnson government.
“We are right back where we were in March 2020, with the government keeping hospitality open, while effectively asking the public not to socialize,” Mr Amy said in a statement. “December should be our busiest trading period – and the revenue generated during this time is critical for the sector.”
A spokesman said the company had temporarily closed 20 pubs.
Ms Whiteside in Gordon said the government had previously been generous with support, but she was unsure what it should do next. “I wouldn’t want to be in those shoes,” she said. “They’re in a no-win position.”