UKHospitality has responded to the government’s Living with Covid plan with a statement from CEO Kate Nicholls, who said: “It is heartening to hear that we are now moving to trading based on the safety measures that businesses have put in place and we hope that this will ignite consumer confidence in our sector and beyond.
“The hospitality industry has proved that its venues are safe for staff and consumers and that, when allowed to trade without restrictions, it can be a major driver of economic growth and recovery. We are pleased to see that much of our five point plan for living with Covid has been taken forward by government.
“Hospitality was hit first, longest and hardest by this pandemic, however, and with costs rising across the board and a VAT rise due this April – just as the cost of living crisis is set to bite – businesses in the sector still need support. At the very least, we need the government to commit to keeping VAT at 12.5% beyond April in order for the industry to be able to play its full role in the UK’s social and economic recovery.”
Key measures from UKHospitality’s five point plan included consistency in regulations across the UK, an appeal to trust businesses to look after their staff and customers, planning for international travel to avoid a return to decisions that prevent in-bound tourism, the ability to ramp up health infrastructure, and clear communication as the pandemic highlighted how public messaging directly impacts consumer confidence.