Boris Johnson Prime Minister

‘Covid-19 Winter Plan’ and what it means for hospitality

Boris Johnson Prime Minister

A revised three-tiered system of restrictions has been published by the government today in preparation of England’s 2nd national lockdown being lifted on 2 December.

The Prime Minister’s ‘Covid-19 Winter Plan’ will mean a “tougher” tiered system than in October as Boris Johnson aims to “keep transmission down”.

Restrictions for each tier will be “refined” allowing a stricken hospitality sector a little more room for manoeuvre.

  • TIER 1 (Medium Alert) – the government will reinforce the importance of working from home wherever possible.
  • TIER 2 (High Alert)– pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals (like a full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal), along with accompanying drinks.
  • TIER 3 (Very High Alert) – all hospitality will close except for delivery, takeaway and drive-through; hotels and other accommodation providers must close (except for specific exemptions, including people staying for work purposes or where they cannot return home); and indoor entertainment venues must also close.

Although hospitality in tiers 1 and 2 will close an hour later at 11pm (last orders by 10pm) allowing customers to disperse more evenly while maintaining social distancing, it will remain closed in tier 3 except for takeaway, delivery or drive-through services.

With this the new tiered system set to last until the end of March, tiering allocations for each section of the country will be reviewed by the government every two weeks.

To minimise the economic impact, all eligible businesses in hospitality will be exempt from paying business rates in England for 12 months from 1 April 2020, along with an extention of the reduced VAT rate of 5% until 31 March 2021.

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