Industry vows to assist with Covid-19 vaccine roll-out

UKHospitality has called for a road map to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and has committed to assisting with the vaccine roll-out.

The pledge follows respective statements strengthening restrictions in England and Scotland, announced yesterday (4 January), which sees both countries entering another lockdown.

“Tighter restrictions are a clear and grave indication that we are still a long way from normality,” says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls. “That means hospitality businesses are a long way from being able to begin to trade their way back to safety and keep jobs alive.

“In which case, the government has to be clear about how it is going to make the best possible use of this time. It needs to be used effectively to provide a rapid and extensive roll out of the vaccine and we need a clear exit strategy along with a road map for recovery and business support.”

Help with the vaccine

The trade body has stressed that the hospitality sector can assist in the rapid roll out of the vaccine, with national operators such as Loungers already offering their sites to help administer the injections.

“Our sector is sitting on well-ventilated, Covid-secure spaces such as hotels, conference centres, pubs and restaurants which can be used and businesses are already coming forward to offer locations to expedite a mass vaccination programme,” adds Nicholls.

“It is also more important than ever that hospitality businesses, who were hit first and hardest by this crisis are given another package of grants to keep businesses alive. This has to come alongside an extension of the VAT cut and business rates holiday, which were already urgently needed even before these further restrictions were announced.”