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#Fair4Hospitality campaign calls on government to support sustainable reopening

Published:  20 May, 2020

UK Hospitality has launched a new campaign outlining best practice guidelines for the hospitality sector ahead of a gradual reopening from 4 July.

Health and safety protocols have already been submitted to ministers, with the trade association asking government to take a flexible approach rather than a “one-size-fits-all” directive for the industry.

The campaign outlines “four primary areas in which Government can deliver for Britain and allow hospitality to play a leading role in the recovery”, mapping out what UK Hospitality describes as a safe and sustainable approach “given the right government support”.

The four focuses include: endorsing best practice and protocols and risk assessment (Wellbeing); ensuring the furlough scheme remains in place until restart is successful (Workers); embracing the National Time Out campaign on rent payments until the end of 2020 (Communities); and a cut in VAT for hospitality businesses to incentivise visits (Consumer).

The campaign highlights the three million jobs normally supported by the sector and the £39bn it generates annually in tax revenues.

The hospitality sector – the third largest private sector employer in the UK – has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, experiencing a 21% decline in the first quarter – 10% worse than the broader economy as it headed into lockdown – with an almost total shutdown thereafter.

The enormity of the challenge faced in getting the sector back on to its feet was highlighted by recent survey of hospitality business leaders, which found that a third believed they will never reopen sites.

“Hospitality needs the UK and devolved governments to help us deliver for our customers, our employees, local communities and the wellbeing of the nation,” said UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.

“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 and bring the nation back together safely over the coming months.”