The UK hospitality industry has slammed the Government’s plans for new lockdown rules that could force pubs, clubs and other venues to close, threatening legal action.
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said there was no evidence that hospitality venues contributed to the spread of COVID-19.
Warnings were raised after several media reports say the Government is preparing to reveal new restrictions for England, and a three-tier alert system is expected to be introduced – with medium, high or very high alerts.
Head of the NTIA, Michael Kill, said the hospitality industry has been left with “no other option”.
Mr Kill went on to say that “these new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package presented by the chancellor in an attempt to sustain businesses through this period”.
"This next round of restrictions are hugely disproportionate and unjust, with no scientific rationale or correlation to Public Health England transmission rates, when compared to other key environments."
The Liverpool City Region is expected to be slapped with the tightest restrictions under the new ‘three tier’ system. In the most infectious zones, pubs, bars and other hospitality and leisure businesses are likely to be forced to close, as has already happened in parts of Scotland.
The chancellor has promised to pay two-thirds of workers’ wages if employers have to close their doors, but many fear this will not be enough and there could still be an impact on jobs.