'People think life is back to normal but it's far from normal'

The  Staff Canteen

the hospitality sector in England is set to lose another £3bn as it is expected that the government will announce a four-week prolongation of restrictions beyond June 21st.

Over the weekend, the rumours that the government was likely to require businesses to continue operating with safety measures in place for another four weeks took shape, as did the reality that they would be leaving nightclubs and thousands of pubs, restaurants and cafes unable to open.

The Prime Minister is set to make an announcement in a press conference on BBC One at 6pm. It is thought that the restrictions will be extended for four weeks, with a two-week review of the data.

Will restrictions be lifted on June 21st?

The argument for pushing the June 21st date back four weeks ending July 19th is that the lifting of restrictions would then be able to be maintained permanently, giving businesses more assurances for the future.

This time would allow for all over-50s to have been offered a second dose of the Coronavirus vaccine, who as a group represent 99 percent of Covid deaths and 80 percent of hospitalisations. 

However, Tory backbenchers have joined calls from the hospitality and tourism industry representatives to push forward with the easing of restrictions for the chance to make up for fifteen months of lost earnings and save thousands of businesses. 

UK Hospitality leader Kate Nicholls said that the delay "would cost the sector £3bn," and would not be sustainable should the government fail to deploy additional support for businesses.

Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer on talkRADIO this morning, she said: "For many people life is broadly back to normal, they can carry on their normal activities. It is far from normal for the businesses that they are visiting because they are still subject to really strict restrictions." 

Operating at 60% capacity with social distancing and table service in place, she continued, "all of that means that these businesses are open and trading but they're trading at a loss, they're not breaking even." 

"That's on top of 15 months of loss-making, so they really are at the end of the road."

Meanwhile, calls for data-based justifications have seemingly fallen onto deaf ears - and though cases of Coronavirus are on an upward trend, no government report has been seen by the public which shows the correlation between hospitality settings and a higher infection rate.

Whatever decision is reached by the government, leaving any restrictions in place means that businesses will require further support if they are to operate profitably in a near or distant future - as employer contributions to the furlough scheme, VAT repayments and business rates are set to come back into force on July 1st, and the rent moratorium is set to end. 

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th June 2021

'People think life is back to normal but it's far from normal'