The government has been accused of “killing Christmas” for hospitality businesses and their staff through tough new restrictions after England’s second coronavirus lockdown ends next week.
The sector argues it will be among the hardest hit through Boris Johnson’s revised three-tier system, which is due to come in to force from Wednesday 2 December as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy.
The new rules, outlined by the PM in a virtual statement to the Commons, will see non-essential retail and personal care providers, such as hairdressers, reopen no matter which tier they are in.
Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player
The same is true for gyms.
Only Tier 3 – the most serious – will force indoor entertainment venues such as bowling alleys and cinemas to close.
The restrictions facing hospitality – pubs, bars and restaurants – are more complicated.
There can be no standing at the bar chatting to friends or colleagues.
Even in Tier 1 areas, they must only provide table service, though the 10pm curfew has been extended to 11pm, with last orders at 10.
Those in Tier 2 have to close unless they are serving food, with alcoholic drinks only available with a “substantial meal”.
Such businesses can only open as a takeaway service in Tier 3.
The tiers under which an area will fall are expected to be revealed in a further announcement this Thursday –