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UKHospitality says ONS figures confirm additional support needed for the industry

12 August 2020 by

UKHospitality has said that much more work and support is need to save businesses and to avoid "painful staffing decisions" in the sector, following today's figures issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

ONS figures reveal the impact of coronavirus on the economy and in particular show that hospitality has been the sector most severely hit by the pandemic.

In a statement UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "We have been saying for months that our sector is the one suffering the worst economic impact of this crisis.

"Today's figures back that up. They highlight how much more work and support is going to be needed to keep businesses open and jobs secure. It also highlights how resilient we are and what brilliant work this sector has been in getting up and running again."

Nicholls added that while many venues had been permitted to reopen last month, there remain parts of hospitality still in limbo and waiting to know when they can reopen, for example nightclubs.

She concluded: "Many of those will be waiting for a roadmap for reopening before they make what could be some painful staffing decisions."

Despite the economy starting to recover in June, due to the easing of lockdown restrictions, GDP fell by 20.4% in Q2 (April to June), the UK's second consecutive quarterly decline in 2020.

ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics Jonathan Athow said: "The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record.

"Overall, productivity saw its largest fall in the second quarter since the three-day week. Hospitality was worst hit, with productivity in that industry falling by three-quarters in recent months.

"The economy began to bounce back in June with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and housebuilding continuing to recover. Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck."

Commenting on the official figures to the BBC, chancellor Rishi Sunak said that "hard times are here".

Image: Shutterstock

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