Business leaders in the hospitality sector on Friday urgently called on the government for more financial support and a lifeline ahead of London facing Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.
The capital moving to a “high” alert means that from Saturday there will be a ban on mixing between households indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.
Bosses say this will dent trade but they won’t get enough help.
The government’s Job Support Scheme has been expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions, such as firms in Tier 3 regions.
Clive Watson, chairman of City Pub Group, said: “Tier 2 lockdowns are the worst case scenario- your trade shrinks overnight but you get no more Government support.”
Pain for pub owners as Tier 2 rules put more pressure on the industry
He called for the furlough scheme to be expanded to include Tier 2, and added: “Give us a lifeline to prevent carnage in the pub sector.”
Greene King’s chief executive Nick Mackenzie warned: “The reality of Tier 2 is that we will remain open, but receive so little trade that many pubs are likely to become financially unviable. Government needs to recognise this quickly and extend the financial support that is only offered currently under Tier 3.”
Stephano Borjak, director at the Caffe Concerto restaurant chain, said: “There is an imbalance between the level of restrictions and the level of support to businesses that are struggling as a result of these restrictions.”
Pubs and bars