Majority of nightlife operators fear delay to reopening roadmap could threaten survival

28 May 2021 by
Majority of nightlife operators fear delay to reopening roadmap could threaten survival

Nine in 10 nightlife operators fear any delay to the final stage of the government's reopening roadmap in England could threaten the survival of their business.

A survey of 172 businesses by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) found 95% have already made financial commitments to reopen next month.

Ministers have given 21 June as the earliest possible date when all restrictions on social contact could be lifted, but there are concerns the spread of the Indian variant of coronavirus could cause a delay in lockdown easing. The government will not confirm its decision until just a week earlier on 14 June.

However, the NTIA survey found 85% of businesses need at least two weeks' notice to prepare to reopen and over a third need a minimum of four weeks.

Some 54% have already ordered stock for 21 June, 73% have called in staff and 60% have sold tickets, while 64% have booked entertainment and 80% have paid for marketing and promotional materials.

Michael Kill, chief executive of the NTIA, said: "The stark reality for both the industry and for government is that thousands of businesses risk being plunged into further financial hardship by a deviation from the reopening plan."

"Evidently, the government has a misguided understanding of the timelines, preparation and operational requirements of our sector, given the ridiculous seven-day notice period they have said they will give ahead of reopening.

"Ultimately, the inability to plan could cost operators dearly if we see the date for a full reopening slide."

Bristol nightlife advisor Carly Heath said that any delay to restrictions lifting would be the "death knoll for many businesses barely holding on".

Image: Page Light Studios/

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