Reacting to today’s detail on the lifting of ‘Lockdown’, Michael Kill, Chief Executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said,
‘For our sector, the 4th July might end up being more ‘Doomsday’ rather than the ‘Independence day’ that the Prime Minister is envisioning.
The detail on the guidance released yesterday on steps to lift the COVID ‘lockdown’ will plunge many businesses and venues involved in the sector into more chaos and confusion.
We are disappointed that the Government doesn’t seem to have taken into account concerns shared from consulting Industry Associations and Trade Bodies, together with an opportunity to comment further, on the final draft before they were presented in the public domain.
The numerous concerns that will undoubtedly arise around interpretation and terminology could have been prevented if the Government had taken the time to listen to, and understand our sector’s unique circumstances and constraints and tried to incorporate what we believe are sensible requests.
We are now grappling with operational guidance that places unworkable conditions on customer behaviour. This will make it highly challenging for the businesses to re-engage, meaning many venues will simply be unable to open and trade profitably.
Safety of customers and staff is of course, paramount but the costs of implementing some of these measures in such a short period of time is costly and also a huge challenge.
The reality is, a large number of hospitality businesses are now having to reevaluate their position with a prospect of redundancies and further financial pressure on the horizon.
This could cripple the sector. We are already on our knees. Left unaltered, and without further Government financial support, this may well be the final straw for large numbers of the sector.’