Sunak must act quickly to ease hospitality sector's Covid jitters

For lockdown-stricken businesses, any form of certainty about support is crucial at this point

“Our economic emergency has only just begun,” Rishi Sunak warned this week. On Thursday, the next stage of that emergency intensified for tens of thousands of businesses as new lockdown restrictions for England were announced. “At best, a restrictive straitjacket, and at worst a lockdown in all but name,” said UK Hospitality, the trade body.

That analysis seems accurate since about 98% of the sector’s trade has been placed in tiers two or three. If the new restrictions are sustained until the end of March, the largest part of a cashflow-dependent industry will have been operating under some version of lockdown for about five months without a break.

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