‘Freedom Day’ delay set to cost hospitality £3bn and put 300,000 jobs at risk


Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce later today (14 June) that so-called ‘Freedom Day’ plans to drop all legal restrictions on social contact in England will no longer go ahead on 21 June as hoped, and will instead be pushed back by four weeks.

It will mean that hospitality businesses will have to continue following social distancing restrictions and operate table service only until at least Monday 19 July. 

UKHospitality has urged the Government stick to its roadmap and lift all restrictions next week, or risk further jeopardising the future of thousands of hospitality businesses and the jobs they provide.

According to the trade body, a one-month delay will cost the sector around £3bn in sales and put approximately 300,000 jobs at risk – including those still on furlough.

It adds that alongside the impact on revenue, businesses are facing a jump in costs with business rates payments set to recommence and employer contributions to furlough kicking in.

“The Government has a balance to strike but due to the amazing efforts of the NHS in rolling out vaccines, it is time to lift the restrictions that are crushing businesses,” says Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality.

“A full and final ending of restrictions is the only way to ensure that businesses in this sector can trade profitably. If Government decides it has to keep some restrictions in place after 21 June, then it must prioritise those that do the least damage to business and commit to further supporting the sector.


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