The #FAIR4Hospitality campaign calls on the country’s central and devolved governments to invest in a fair and timely return for hospitality businesses over the summer months, so that they can benefit local communities; peoples’ jobs; the national wellbeing; and the British economy.
It says that businesses in the sector are ready to reopen in a safe and sustainable way given the right Government support.
With Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently setting out a roadmap for the sector to restart, and proposals soon to emerge in Scotland, the #FAIR4Hospitality campaign outlines four primary areas in which it says the Government can deliver for Britain, and allow hospitality to play a leading role in the recovery.
It asks the Government to endorse the sector’s best-practice protocols and risk assessments for a ‘Covid-secure restart’; ensure the furlough scheme is retained at full rate for hospitality until businesses successfully restart; regulate to provide a ‘National Time Out’ on rent payments for the remainder of the year; and cut the rate of VAT for hospitality businesses to help boost confidence and incentivise visits to tourist destinations.
There are also calls for the Government to find a solution that addresses the debt and costs incurred by business as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.
As a first step, UKHospitality says it has submitted its best practice health and safety protocols to ministers for endorsement, which emphasise that the sector needs flexibility to operate safely and should not be constricted by a one-size-fits-all approach given the diversity of businesses covered.
“Hospitality needs the UK and devolved governments to help us deliver for our customers, our employees, local communities and the wellbeing of the nation,” says UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls.
“We will be ready to restart (in England on 4 July and other parts of the country when allowed), but for the entire country to come together again after lockdown, governments must invest in a fair and timely return for hospitality and all those who rely on it.
“The sector provides jobs and livelihoods in every city, town and village. But we are more than that, our venues are where communities come together - our doors reopening will be a true measure of national recovery. 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.”