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Russell Nathan, hospitality expert at accountancy firm HW Fisher comments:
“This announcement is another blow to the struggling hospitality industry, who have been patient and flexible throughout the pandemic. No doubt they will pivot successfully again to encourage earlier evening meals, but with distancing and the weather closing in, the outlook is simply not economically viable. Combined with the message to work from home again, restaurants in central London who had started to see some encouraging signs after the success of Eat Out to Help Out will find themselves on the back foot again.
“Restaurants, pubs and caterers are going to face challenging times again, and they will need additional financial assistance from the government, for example, rent breaks and an extension of furlough in order to make it through another potential six months of these restrictions.”