Some 81% of accommodation and foodservice businesses temporarily closed or paused trading between 23 March and 5 April, a survey published yesterday has revealed.
The survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that the accommodation and foodservice sector reported the second-highest closures of all sectors, falling slightly behind the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, of which 82% said they had temporarily closed.
The survey also showed that of the accommodation and foodservice businesses that had remained open and were continuing to trade, almost 87% reported "substantially lower than normal" turnovers, the largest proportion of all sectors surveyed.
Of businesses in the accommodation and foodservices sector that were continuing to trade, 42% said they were reducing staff levels in the short term and just over 50% said they had taken measures to reduce staff hours.
Across the sector, 96% of businesses expressed an interest in the Coronavirus Job Retention Schemes (CJRS), the largest proportion of all sectors. The scheme, which went live on Monday, was introduced by the government to save the jobs of more than one million people who have been furloughed.
However, on Thursday UKHospitality said that an extended period of social distancing could cost one million jobs in the hospitality sector alone unless measures to protect businesses were put in place. The industry body has written to MP Michael Gove recommending a six-point plan to help the country's hospitality businesses reopen following the crisis.