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UKH calls for gov to look at ‘data not dates’ when lifting restrictions | Article

UKHospitality (UKH) is urging the government to follow “data not dates” and loosen some of the restrictions slightly earlier than the current roadmap. 

According to the group, the continued success of the vaccination programme should allow for “hotels with self-contained rooms to be able to open alongside other self-contained accommodation on 12 April”. 

In addition, the trade association has also called for people to be able to order at the bar from indoor openings in May, and for customers to be allowed to consume drinks while standing outdoors. 

The plea comes as the hospitality sector marks one year of disrupted trading caused by Covid-19 – with UKH highlighting the “terrible toll” restrictions have caused the industry. 

Analysis by UKH, has shown that the pandemic has cost the “sector more than 600,000 jobs, 12,000 business failures and lost sales of £86bn”.

While the 12 April will see pubs, bars, restaurants, and hotels able to trade outdoors, the trade association is warning that closure for the vast majority of operators is due to last another nine weeks until 17 May, when indoor hospitality is permitted to reopen.

UKH said this delay “means even more jobs are in danger and even more businesses are facing ruin”.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive at UKH, said: “Hospitality can lead economic recovery in the UK, providing jobs to people who have lost them and continuing to serve those most in need in communities all over the country. To do this however, we need to be able to operate without being strangled by restrictions. 

“We also urge the government to look again at some areas of support it introduced in the Budget, in particular the business rates cap, which unfairly penalises a large proportion of hospitality businesses who will find themselves paying full rates just days after restrictions are fully lifted in June. That cannot be right, and we urge ministers to think again.” 

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