Amid a growing rebellion from his own Tory MPs, Boris Johnson will publish an analysis of the economic, social and health consequences of the new tier restrictions later today (30 November).
Between 70 and 100 Tory MPs are threatening to oppose the Government when the new tier system is put to a vote in Parliament on Tuesday (1 December), and the Prime Minister’s promise to include a sunset clause that will allow MPs to vote to end the restrictions in January has failed to assuage them.
The tightened tier measures, which will come into force across most of England on Wednesday (2 December) following the end of the current national lockdown, will see hospitality venues in Tier 3 areas forced to remain closed and only allowed to offer takeaways, while those in Tier 2 will only be able to serve alcohol with 'substantial meals'.
More than 31,000 hospitality businesses are set to be impacted by the new Tier 3 restrictions, with a further 21,451 wet-led pubs and bars forced to remain closed under Tier 2, according to real estate adviser Altus Group.
Trade body UKHospitality has warned that should the restrictions last the entire month of December, an estimated £7.8bn worth of trading will be wiped out across the sector when compared to 2019.
The Telegraph reports that Boris Johnson has decided the potential closure of tens of thousands of premises is an unacceptable price to pay for a new system, which places 99% of England Tier 2 or 3.
A Government source told the paper: "There are already grants of £2,000 and £3,000 for businesses in Tiers 2 and 3, but we recognise that we need to do more."
Details of the extra support are expected to be announced this week, possibly before the crucial Parliamentary vote.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is understood to have signed up to the plan, which is likely to be funded by extra borrowing in the short term.
A senior Government source added: "We understand the fact that the hospitality industry has been particularly hard-hit during the pandemic. The Christmas period is a time of year when establishments would expect to be particularly busy so we are looking at how we can support them over the festive period."