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Desperate hospitality bosses are begging the Government for more help amid warnings the extension of Covid curbs will cost £3billion in lost sales and put 300,000 jobs at risk.

Industry chiefs called the possible month-long delay in lifting restrictions in England a “hammer blow”.

Many hospitality businesses that have reopened – including pubs, restaurants and hotels – are running at a loss because of social the dis­­tancing rules.

Some venues, including nightclubs, closed for the past 15 months, were banking on reopening on June 21 in order to survive.

Along with disappointment at the extending of restrictions was mounting anger at the lack of any new help for firms left to count the cost.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak is not extending furlough support
(Image: Simon Walker HM Treasury)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has so far ignored pleas to push back the date when employers have to start contributing to the wages of furloughed workers.

From July 1, they must chip in 10%, on top of existing National Insurance and pension contributions.

A business rates holiday – another lifeline that has prevented countless retail and hospitality firms going bust – will be slashed from the same date.

While a ban on commercial evictions is due to end on June 30, just as hefty rent demands built up during the pandemic are due.

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Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said: “Already there are landlords circling, they are screaming eviction.”

He added: “I have friends who have lost their houses, their relationships, their businesses.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, said: “The decision to delay is hugely disappointing but the Government has judged the evidence and acted as it sees fit.”

She said it is now “crucial that further support is announced to push us over the line.”

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UKHospitality predicts the four-week delay will cost the sector around £3bn in sales, put 300,000 jobs at risk and have a knock-on impact on bookings throughout the summer and into autumn.

“Simply put, if the supports provided by the Chancellor are not sustained and adjusted, businesses will fail and getting this far will count for nought,” said Ms Nicholls.

Pubs alone are set to lose out on £400million of sales over the next month – including a big boost from the rest of the EURO 2020 football tournament.

The figure includes the impact of limiting customer numbers because of social distancing and people not being allowed to stand and drink.

Hospitality jobs will be hit hard
(Image: PA)

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Every week the current restrictions stay and uncertainty continues, the likelihood of pubs being lost for ever increases.

“A full package of Government support is now critical for our sector.”

Claire Walker, co-executive director of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “This delay to the removal of restrictions will come as a hammer blow to those firms who must remain closed, and to those who continue to see their ability to trade severely restricted.”

Mike Cherry, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “It is fully understandable that as this pandemic evolves, the goalposts too will move, but many small firms who have been hanging on to the edge will be left wondering if they can survive further periods of restrictions without additional support.”

Ed Miliband, Shadow Business Secretary, said: “It would be wrong for businesses to suffer because of the Government’s poor handling of our borders and failure to contain the new variant.

“Economic measures must remain in step with public health restrictions.”

Nightclubs have been among those hardest hit by the restrictions.

Around 90% of nightclub owners warn the delay will threaten their very existence.

It will also lead to around 5,000 gigs being cancelled.

Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said: “Already there are landlords circling, they are screaming eviction.”

He added: “I have friends who have lost their houses, their relationships, their businesses.”

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Blackpool Tower Circus was just of those left disappointed by the extending of restrictions, having been limited to 35% capacity.

Kyle Woodcock, commercial manager for Blackpool Tower, said: “If you take away 65% of the people who come through the doors that is a huge amount of revenue that ensures we can continue trading the way we do and support the local economy.”