Follow French recipe to save restaurants, PM urged

has been urged to follow the lead of French president and compensate pubs and restaurants for the latest coronavirus restrictions.

Industry trade body UKHospitality has called for the Government to step in with additional financial measures after the new tier system placed 98pc of the sector under either Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions. An estimated £7.8bn of trade is set to be wiped out in December as a result of the rules.

In a briefing submitted to ministers, the body suggested that the Government should adopt policies from France, where restaurants are facing similar restrictions in the run-up to Christmas. Those forced to shut have access to a state-funded compensation scheme which provides 20pc of anticipated sales during the period, based on the previous year’s figures, or up to €10,000 (£8,980).

Separately, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, a group comprising some of Britain’s biggest hospitality companies warned that the current government financial support was not enough to ensure the survival of the sector through a third period of closures and restrictions.

Bosses from firms including Accor, Pizza Express, Greene King and Alton Towers owner Merlin Entertainments called on Mr Johnson to review the decision to prevent households from mixing in hospitality venues under so-called Christmas bubble proposals.

They warned that existing grants were not enough to compensate the sales lost under Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions, adding that No 10 should consider extending the business rates holiday and VAT cut for the entirety of next year. “We want to play a leading role in our economic revival,” they wrote.

“But we won’t be able to do any of this unless your Government looks again at both the evidence and our commitment, and gives the British public what they need to get us all safely through the winter.”

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