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21 Dec 2021
£1 Billion Relief Fund Announced for UK’s Hospitality and Leisure Sector
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The U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak revealed a £1 Billion ($1.3 billion) relief package for the country’s hospitality and leisure enterprises in the wake of fresh restrictions resulting from the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Leisure and hospitality businesses including bars and eateries can avail up to £6,000 of monetary grants each. Cultural establishments like museums and theatres can also apply for additional grants under this package to remunerate employees on sick days.
UKHospitality warned a dire month for hospitality companies who would lose out on about 40%-60% of their business. Sunak echoed the lobby group’s claim saying, “The current situation is very difficult, especially for those in the hospitality industry.” He also seemed to suggest that the government has also made economic provisions to account for possible additional COVID-19 rules.
However, this program does not meet all the requirements of the industry as companies have been seeking extensions and considerations on taxes and government-endorsed loans respectively. It comes as PM Boris Johnson’s cabinet remains divided over the imposition of more Omicron-spurred restrictions, as they continue to rally for more scientific data on the potential seriousness of the new virus variant.