ADVICE for people to avoid pubs, restaurants and clubs has been branded ‘catastrophic’ and ‘an existential threat’ by industry leaders.
They are concerned that they will not be entitled to insurance payments as the government has not ordered them to close.
During his press conference, Mr Johnson offered ‘very strong advice’ that people should avoid public venues. He added: ‘We are going to make sure that we do everything we can to give them the liquidity that they need.’
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said the government must provide support for the sector. The very existence of some pubs is now at threat,’ she added. ‘Urgent measures to ensure cash flow and cost reduction is of absolute necessity.’
Michelin-starred celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, whose gastropubs include The Hand & Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, tweeted: ‘WTAF do we do now????’ Tim Foster, co-founder of The Yummy Pub Co, said he may have to lay off nearly 90 members of staff across four pubs around London. ‘It’s just a joke,’ he said. ‘I still have bills to pay.’
Kate Nicholls, head of UKHospitality, said the industry had been left in ‘limbo with no recourse to insurance’. She added it ‘will lead to thousands of businesses closing their doors for good, and hundreds of thousands of job losses’.