Covid: Sunak to hold Omicron crisis talks as pubs and restaurants feel Christmas pressure



British Chancellor Rishi Sunak will hold crisis talks with business leaders on Friday as Wales and UK hotel industry continue to report cancellations due to fears over the spread of Omicron.

Wales businesses had previously reported massive cancellations to the Welsh government announced measures before and after Christmas on Thursday (December 16), with a chain of restaurants in Cardiff reporting more than 3,000 cancellations in December alone.

Nightclubs in Wales will be closed from December 27, while a return to two-meter social distancing rules and other social distancing measures will return in other venues and offices.

The Welsh government has announced an additional £ 60million in aid for businesses affected by the new restrictions.

However, previous support measures such as the UK-wide leave scheme were a policy of the UK Treasury, while the amount the Welsh government has to spend on support programs is helped by similar spending from the UK. British government in England.

Wales businesses and unions have asked for additional support, with the Prime Minister writing to the UK Treasury to ask for additional funding for the holidays.

The Chancellor faces pressure to produce a bailout for the UK hotel sector as Christmas festivities have been curtailed across the UK, with the Scottish government advising limited socialization and the UK government presenting its “plan B”, including Covid passes in England.

Mr. Sunak cut short a trip to the United States to return home for talks with the industry.

He said: “I understand this is a difficult time for the hospitality industry” and pledged that the government will continue to do “whatever it takes” to support lives and livelihoods.

UKHospitality trading organization and pub bosses calculated that £ 2bn in trade had already been lost in December.

New restrictions on social distancing will take effect in pubs and restaurants from December 27 Credit: Pennsylvania

The Wales Trade Union Congress has warned workers will bear the brunt of canceled Christmas parties and concerts due to the widespread use of zero hour contracts in industries like the hospitality industry.

He called on the UK government to restart the leave scheme.

TUC Wales General Secretary Shavanah Taj said: “While the organizers do the right thing if they have assessed that these events cannot be run safely, it has a huge impact on training on workers in sectors such as the hotel industry.

“Many just won’t get paid for missed shifts because of the way they’re employed.

“These workers need urgent help – many of them will not be universal credit applicants and will have to wait weeks to receive their benefits if they are made redundant and forced to apply now.

“It is absolutely essential that the Chancellor listens to the labor movement and relaunches the holiday program so that workers’ Christmas wages are not empty.”

Carole Green, ITV Cymru Wales Labor and Economics Correspondent

Wales’ pubs, restaurants and hotels are once again on a razor’s edge as we approach a second Christmas in the shadow of the pandemic.

This is the time of year when the hospitality industry – a key sector for the Welsh economy – earns a living to get through the quieter January and beyond.

Last year they lost a vital 11 hour trade when they were shut down overnight and they don’t want that to happen again this year.

With the emergence of the Omicron variant, it seems that some customers are already voting with their feet and canceling or postponing their business, group of family celebrations.

When demand was high, growth in the hotel industry was hampered by a lack of staff.

Many restaurants and hotels have already had to cut back on their services due to understaffing.



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