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Our favourite places were hit first and hit hardest – Britain needs them to survive


Hospitality is diverse. It has helped us through the crisis and can help us out of it. It is not just vital to the 3.2m they employ, they are at the heart of our social lives. But they have been devastated by COVID19 – with a 21% decline in trade in quarter 1 – ten times worse than the whole economy. Around a third of businesses believe they will never reopen some sites. For Great Britain to come together again after the lockdown, governments must invest in a fair and timely return for hospitality.


Lockdown, while entirely justified, has kept our customers and staff at home, isolated from friends and family, often unable to earn a living. More than 2 million hospitality jobs are furloughed, and the supply chain is threatened with further damage – these jobs are at risk. Even while closed, the sector faces further costs – bills of up to £1 billion in rent and other costs await them in the second quarter. We have come to know – more than ever – how British hospitality shapes the nation, as well as feeding it: it is key to our sense of community and wellbeing.


It is vital that reopening is done in the right way, at the right time and with the right support so that our industry can help rebuild shattered consumer confidence, bring the entire nation back together safely over the coming months and provide an economic boost to hard-hit coastal and rural communities, providing a morale boost for those families whose holidays have been cancelled. We cannot let our summer slip away before we’ve enjoyed its pleasures and economic boons.


UKHospitality is asking for hospitality businesses to be reopened:


  • Hospitality will be ready to return to work on the return dates set by Westminster, Cardiff and Holyrood based on agreed risk-assessed protocolsensuring protection for staff and customers
  • Hospitality needs initial support to return sub-economically, to save jobs, communities and businesses, tapered as we return to growth.
  • Hospitality is diverse and needs flexibility to operate safely, not a one-size-fits-all approach; some are already open, most will be ready by 4th July and others will need more time.


With support from governments in four primary areas hospitality can play a leading role in Britain’s recovery

  1. Wellbeing: Refine social distancing guidance with the confidence that our world leading, Government endorsed best-practice protocols will ensure a COVID Secure safe restart 
  2. Employees: Provide job security by confirming 4 July opening date for tourism businesses and committing to reopen all business in the sector before furlough rate is reduced
  3. Communities:  Incentivise a legal settlement on rents and extend business rates holiday to avoid undermining high street recovery
  4. Consumers: Cut VAT to boost confidence and incentivise visits to the tourist venues we love

To deliver fairness for all we need all stakeholders – including insurers, landlords and banks - to play a part.


  • Summer revenues are crucial: without them a quiet winter will spell the end for many businesses. Rural and seaside communities will suffer disproportionately
  • The Great British public deserve safe eating and drinking out, safe holidays and leisure: the financial cost is a justified investment in the future of the economy
  • Hospitality provides jobs in every city, town and village - its recovery will play a crucial role in levelling up the economy
  • We are more than jobs and livelihoods, we are where communities come together - our doors opening will be a true measure of national recovery.



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