Covid-19: Hotel and food industries are gloomy about future survival

Over a third of accommodation and food service industries have low or no confidence that their businesses will survive the next three months.

Hotels, bars and restaurants have been the worst hit sector due to the collapse of customer activity as a result of new second lockdown restrictions this month.

According to The Business Impact of Covid-19 Survey by the Office for National Statistics, half of businesses experienced a decrease in turnover, with the accommodation and food service activities industry having experienced the highest decrease — at 79%.

In the UK, 91.5% of accommodation and food service businesses have temporarily or permanently closed due to lockdown regulations since the start of the pandemic. Some 33% were closed because of insufficient customer interest or footfall, and 32% because they were not financially able to remain open.

The industry also had the highest percentage of businesses expecting to temporarily or permanently shut a business site within the first two weeks of the second lockdown, at 25%.

Overall the accommodation and food service industry has suffered from a 19% decrease of workers from within the EU, which results in it being the sector that has suffered from the greatest number of job losses.

Since the pandemic started, the UK economy has become 9.7% smaller than it was before, and is suffering more than other major worldwide economy. This is partly down to a longer lockdown than other countries, experts believe.

As a result, the UK Government is borrowing huge sums to pay for schemes to protect jobs, support businesses and combat the virus. The latest figures by ONS show that the UK Government borrowed £22.3bn last month, which was £10.bn more than in the same month last year.

In the meantime, developments of new vaccines with high success rates are being made. Once available to the public, the UK economy could return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022, which is looking hopeful due to recent developments such as the Oxford University vaccine.

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