Hospitality Sector Pleads For Support As Cancellations Mount

Hospitality firms in the UK are increasingly calling out for support from the Government as the spread of Omicron wreaks havoc on the sector at a time of year that is usually its busiest.

UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls has made a plea for VAT discounts and business rates relief to be extended, warning that the sector has been hit harder than expected by the Government’s “Plan B” restrictions and public concern around rising coronavirus cases. 

Nicholls said hospitality sales have already dropped by over a third in the past 10 days with £2 billion of trade already lost in December as people cancel bookings for festive celebrations. 

Across the hospitality sector, businesses are asking for an extension of the discounted 12.5% VAT which is currently set to revert to the original 20% rate in March 2022. UKHospitality is also requesting a deferral of business rates.

It is quite clear that the impact of the current guidance and restrictions has been more hard-hitting on an already beleaguered hospitality sector than expected,” Nicholls said.  “It is imperative that local authorities release the discretionary grants and rate relief they have to affected businesses immediately and VAT and rate relief support is extended and not turned off prematurely.”

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