'Help will barely cover the rent' - despair at Tier 3 lockdown - The Solihull Observer

'Help will barely cover the rent' - despair at Tier 3 lockdown

Solihull Editorial 27th Nov, 2020   0

TIER 3 measures being introduced across swathes of the West Midlands promise a ‘bleak Christmas’ for the hospitality industry, say business leaders.

The Government has confirmed that local authorities across Greater Birmingham, including Birmingham, Solihull, Warwickshire and Staffordshire, will enter tier three restrictions next Wednesday.

Under the rules, hospitality businesses in the areas will face tight restrictions after national lockdown measures end next week.

While non-essential retail, personal services such as hairdressers and beauticians and gyms will be able to reopen, hospitality and indoor entertainment businesses will be required to close – with the exception of takeaway, delivery and drive through services.

Accommodation businesses may only remain open for very limited circumstances such as guests staying for work purposes or where they are unable to return home.

Group exercise and sports indoors should only take place within household or support bubble groups.

Large events are only permitted on a “drive-in” basis.

Households (or support bubbles) are barred from mixing indoors and groups of up to six may only meet outdoors in certain public settings, such as parks or public gardens.

The restrictions will be reviewed every two weeks to ascertain whether key measures, such as the Covid-19 case rate, have fallen far enough to allow restrictions to be downgraded to tier two restrictions.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) said: “We’re hearing from businesses that these measures promise a bleak Christmas for the hospitality and visitor economy sectors.

“We will continue to urge the government to ensure that every measure is correctly targeted and backed by scientific evidence and deliver enhanced levels of support for those businesses that will be hardest hit during this vital trading period.

“The grants currently available through the national schemes will not even cover the rent for many businesses who are already facing severely depleted or non-existent reserves after 10 months of Covid-19 restrictions.

“The Government needs to urgently provide detail of the circumstances which will allow an exit route out of this situation as businesses need some level of certainty in order to plan for the future.

“The Chamber will continue to provide guidance on government support during this period and will be lobbying both government and local stakeholders on behalf of business to ensure that targeted support reaches those who needs it in the fastest time possible.”


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