unemployment

Virus seen to cost UK hospitality over 560,000 jobs

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
Virus seen to cost UK hospitality over 560,000 jobs

A server takes a customer's order at a restaurant in Newcastle, northeast England, on September 29, 2020, after tighter restrictions were put in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. - More than two million people in northeast England face new restrictions because of a surge in coronavirus cases, the government announced on Thursday, as it battled to contain a potential second wave of infection. Tighter regulations on socialising are due to come into force from Friday in Northumberland, North and South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, and County Durham. Residents will be banned from socialising in homes or gardens with people from outside their household, while food and drink venues will be restricted to table service only. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

'There is a very real danger that we will lose large chunks of the economy,' says UKHospitality's Kate Nicholls

Britain’s hospitality sector will shed more than 560,000 jobs this year as the coronavirus pandemic kills trade in bars, hotels, nightclubs, pubs, and restaurants, its boss warned on Tuesday, October 6.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, told a cross-party panel of MPs that a recent survey showed “the anticipated number of additional redundancies by the end of the year was 560,000.”

She added, “We anticipate that number will be far higher now as the result of the local restrictions” and nationwide measures to tackle rising cases of COVID-19 in the UK.

Nicholls warned of “large numbers” of additional job losses from next month when the government waters down its jobs support scheme that has helped keep millions of people in employment during the pandemic.

She said that 900,000 people are on the state’s furlough scheme paying the bulk of individual’s wages – a support system set to be heavily reduced from November.

“There is a very real danger that we will lose large chunks of the economy,” said Nicholls. 

“In hospitality…that engine of growth for reemploying people will be lost for good,” she added.

Although pubs have reopened following lockdown earlier in the year, the government has forced them to close by 10 pm each night – while nightclubs remain shut. 

Britain has suffered the worst death toll in Europe from the virus outbreak, with more than 42,000 confirmed deaths. – Rappler.com