Clarity needed over Welsh Government's reopening strategy for sector, says UKHospitality

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Clarity needed over Welsh Government's reopening strategy for hospitality sector UKHospitality Coronavirus

Related tags Welsh assembly government ukhospitality Coronavirus

UKHospitality Cymru has said that an orderly and clearly signalled opening date, which allows high summer season trading, could save as many as 40,000 jobs in the Welsh hospitality industry.

In a message to the Welsh Government the trade body has called for greater clarity on when businesses in the sector may be able to reopen, saying it had so far avoided issuing any dates on hospitality’s reopening following the Coronavirus lockdown.

It comes after the devolved government in Northern Ireland announced it was accelerating its' plans to ease the lockdown, with pubs and restaurants in the country expected to be open again by 20 July 'at the latest'.

Meanwhile, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said at yesterday's (9 June) Coronavirus press briefing that hospitality businesses in England will hopefully be able to begin reopening on 4 July​, despite recent rumours​ that those plans could be accelerated. 

UKHospitality Cymru estimates that, without further support and a clear plan for reopening, as many as 40,000 jobs are at risk in the wider hospitality sector in Wales.

“Businesses in England are carefully planning for the anticipated return from 4th July and taking bookings from eager customers. Our members in Wales are left frustrated and anxious by the lack of clarity and are forced to contemplate making redundancies because of this unsustainable uncertainty," says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.

“More than 135,000 jobs are dependent on our industry in Wales, many in remote and precarious economic rural and coastal communities, and even small numbers of lay-offs could be devastating for those important but vulnerable areas.

“We have worked closely with the Government and developed a set of guidelines to equip businesses to return. Of course, health advice must be paramount but as conditions ease, we need guide dates to put essential customer planning in place.”

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