The Government’s Covid 'Plan B' and the effects it could have on the hospitality industry

The  Staff Canteen

While, at current, the government's so-called 'Plan B' for England to curb the spread of coronavirus and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed doesn't involve closing pubs, bars, or restaurants there will still be an effect from the restictions that would be put in place.

Most notably, the plan involves mask mandates for certain settings and a Covid passport for crowded indoor spaces. This will likely heavily affect the hospitality industry as bars, clubs, and pubs will likely see a restriction in their guest numbers and the need for those guests to have a Covid vaccination passport.

Almost all discussions on this state that the hospitality industry couldn't survive another lost Christmas.

For many places this would mean a loss of 40 percent of their annual revenue. This, added to the fact that lots of places have only been open for a few months our of the last 19, leaves businesses in a fragile state, which could mean further closures in January and February even if restrictions are lessened by then.

Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality chef executive, said that "it's critical for the recovery of the hospitality sector that businesses are allowed to continue operating in viable conditions this winter."

This sentiment seems to be shared across the industry with many others speaking out about how important it is for the industry to have a festive season as thats typically when they earn about 40 percent of their annual profits, according to Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of UK Hospitality. This means any lockdown now will be far more serious for the industry than at another time. 

However, restrictions haven't been universally negative. Delivery and take-away establishements have instead seen continued growth throughout this period during and post lockdown and it seems likely that this would continue despite the governements plan B.

In all cases it seems likely that the Government's 'Plan C', which would see household mixing banned along with the reinstating of working from home, would be the most devastating to the hospitality industry.

All in all, the message is clear, bars, clubs, pubs, and restaurants  need the revenue gained from the festive period. Therefore, it is clear that for the service industry, restrictions are better than a lockdown and as Andrew Harrison, a spokesman for the Events Industry Alliance said to The Guardian, "What we don’t want is a kneejerk reaction that all mass events are unsafe."

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd October 2021

The Government’s Covid 'Plan B' and the effects it could have on the hospitality industry