Poor festive trading leaves Welsh hospitality 'in peril'

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Poor festive trading leaves Welsh hospitality 'in peril'

Related tags Wales Coronavirus

UKHospitality Cymru has warned that an immediate increase in financial support and the lifting of trading restrictions is urgently needed to prevent Welsh hospitality businesses closures and job losses.

According to David Chapman, executive director of UKHospitality Cymru, the impact of additional restrictions means revenue is currently least 25% lower in Wales than across the border in England where no direct measures are currently being targeted at hospitality firms; although the ongoing 'work from home' order and subsequent drop in consumer confidence and footfall has hit businesses hard​.

In Wales, hospitality venues are now once again required to follow two-metre social distancing and collect customer details under tough Covid rules that came into force on Boxing Day (26 December)​.

Nightclubs have been forced to close their doors, and social gatherings in hospitality settings are restricted to the 'rule of six'.

“Across the board, enforced sub-viable trading and the associated cautionary climate has fuelled a festive flop in our pubs, restaurants, hotels and wider hospitality,” says Chapman.

The Welsh Government has made a £120m fund available for nightclubs, retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses affected by the restrictions, but Chapman argues that this is not enough to protect businesses and leaves them in a vulnerable position.

“A disastrous Christmas and New Year under the latest restrictions has left many facing a perilous financial position with grants falling way short of what is needed. In particular, retaining staff on current Government supports is unsustainable.

“Wales’ nightclubs are closed but are expected to keep a full staff roster for maybe as long as two months, with a grant that doesn’t even amount to a busy night’s takings.

“If financial support isn’t swiftly forthcoming, grave commercial impacts are inevitable, which will hugely damage communities across Wales.”

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