Boris appoints ‘hospitality task force’ with one objective, reopen hospitality
As Spring rolls into Summer the hospitality industry across the UK is in the grip of its worst economic downturn in living memory. To avert matters getting worse, Prime Minister Johnson has assembled a small team of his closest Cabinet allies.
Boris’ ‘hospitality task force’ have one objective, to get the UK hospitality industry open and working to rescue what’s left of the summer hospitality season.
Boris appoints hospitality task force – Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak heads up that team alongside Business Secretary Alok Sharma, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden, and Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove.
With new quarantine measures kicking in today across all UK borders and entry points, already greatly diminished airport arrivals now face additional stringent checks. People entering the UK, including returning UK nationals, will need to provide border authorities with the address they will adopt during two weeks of self-isolation.
With few airlines operating and the new quarantine measures in place, few will want to travel outside the UK, so the government is banking on staycations becoming the summer break for most.
This of course depends wholly on a reopened UK hospitality industry capable of providing hospitality for millions of people.
Boris’ ‘hospitality task force’ will also be mindful of avoiding unseen levels of unemployment, with the potential loss of circa 3-4 million jobs across hospitality.
There are two major barriers the taskforce need to overcome in order to get the job done. Working with the hospitality industry to ready reopening for summer, and maintaining reducing levels of Covid-19 transmission making reopening safe.
Working with the hospitality industry
The 2m self-distancing rule currently in place will need to be reduced to 1m in line with World Health Organisation guidelines. Johnson already supports this move and is currently looking for scientific support to make this all important change.
Opening up more outside areas for increased hospitality footfall is also high on the agenda and likely to be approved.
Maintaining reducing levels of Covid-19 transmission
We have all seen the Government’s slides that show how transmission levels are reducing.
We also see people flouting social distancing by attending protests or sunning themselves at seaside’s.
The all important R rate is the key measure in determining Government policy, currently.
If most people continue to follow the guidelines, we can hope that staycations may well end up, at least in part, saving the day for hospitality.