Omicron and Covid Plan B Makes UK December Rate Hike Less Likely; Unemployment claims in the United States at their lowest since 1969 – business live | Business


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UK hotel companies are urging the government to provide new emergency financial support as England moves on to the Covid B plan, amid fears of an exponential increase in the Omicron variant.

Otherwise, they say, many businesses risk running out of cash and collapsing if they miss the crucial Christmas trading boost.

Last night’s announcement that people should work from home whenever possible from Monday and that face masks would be a legal requirement in most indoor public spaces such as theaters and cinemas from Friday , is a big blow to pubs and restaurants – although there will be exemptions for eating and drinking in reception areas.

Vaccine passports will be needed to frequent large, potentially overcrowded places such as nightclubs from next week – which will remain open.

Clive watson, President of Group of pubs in the city, said there had already been a “significant drop” in office party bookings about 10 days ago, following the announcement of the first Omicron travel restrictions.

He told Radio 4 Today’s program this:

There has certainly been a decline in these types of bookings. In the future, after yesterday’s announcement, it will only accelerate.

The government needs to understand that Christmas is a critical time for hospitality, says Watson.

Many businesses, especially nightclubs and restaurants, are likely to make a third of their profits in December, he explains. It helps them get through the quieter January and February months.

If they cannot trade normally, they cannot build up the cash reserves they need.

It’s more than a blow, insists Watson, whose company owns 45 pubs in England and Wales.

It’s almost … take-off of the life support machine once again.

Watson warns that existing support, such as a lower VAT rate for hospitality and trade tariff relief, is not enough.

His message to the government:

Please, please give us this enhanced state aid …

Otherwise, a lot of businesses in our industry will run out of cash.

The Omicron variant had previously shaken consumer confidence, and sectors of the economy that depend on face-to-face interactions and spending by office workers now face a much less merry Christmas.

Other business groups have also warned that the new restrictions will have a serious impact on hotel businesses, so taxpayer help will be needed.

There is also an understandable annoyance that the changes are coming with so little notice.

Baroness Ruby mcgregor smith, president of the British Chambers of Commerce, warned that last night’s announcement would hurt business confidence, saying:

“For several months we have been asking the UK government to define what contingency plans for businesses would look like if further restrictions were needed this winter.

“Once again, companies are now being asked to make changes at the very last minute. The restrictions will also have an impact on consumer behavior with ripple effects that could jeopardize the fragile recovery, order books and revenues. “

Unions fear higher unemployment unless the holiday scheme, which ended in September, is reactivated.

Françoise O’Grady, secretary general of the YOU KNOW, noted:

“Requiring people to work from home during the busy Christmas season will affect jobs – unless ministers bring back time off.”

Housekeepers, receptionists, conference and banquet staff, and hotel and retail workers will be short of work if people do not come into the offices ”.


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