Press release

24 Sep 2020 , 15:00 London, GB

Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement on new COVID-19 support measures, Christian Mole, EY UK & Ireland Head of Hospitality & Leisure, said

Social distancing measures continue to constrain both operating capacity and customer demand, and pubs and restaurants have been further impacted by the 10pm mandatory closing time.

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“While the hospitality sector will welcome the support measures announced today, including Pay As You Grow, the Job Support Scheme and the sector-specific VAT rate freeze, many will have been hoping for more generous direct intervention in recognition of the particular challenges that the sector faces. Social distancing measures continue to constrain both operating capacity and customer demand, and pubs and restaurants have been further impacted by the 10pm mandatory closing time. The hotels sector will face depressed demand for some time due to decreased business travel and inbound tourism, which may result in continued closures and resulting job losses.

“The hospitality sector was already facing difficulties before the pandemic and is now undergoing an accelerated transformation. Businesses that are resilient enough to survive may ultimately emerge to form a healthier and more profitable sector but a smaller footprint could be the cost.”