All restaurants have been ordered to close by the government, in a bid to help tackle the Coronavirus crisis.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced just after 5pm on Friday the 20 March that all restaurants, pubs, cafes, bars, gyms and cinemas across the UK are to shut down with immediate effect. The measures come as the authorities try to slow the rapid spread of COVID-19 in London and beyond.
This most recent announcement will have a huge impact on the hospitality industry, which has already reported massive losses as a direct result of people self-isolating and social distancing.
Understandably many restaurants and hospitality professionals have been worried for their employees through these times of uncertainty, which Johnson acknowledged in his daily announcement. To encourage staff retention, the government has pledged to pay 80% of wages back to firms who maintain payrolls while their colleagues are unable to work. This payment is capped at a maximum monthly salary of £2500 per person. This still leaves a gap for employers to cover, which will be aided by a year-long business rates holiday, which was previously announced.
A further help comes in the form of businesses being afforded a VAT break this quarter, which means the next required payment will be due from all restaurants and bars in June.
The Chancellor also announced that business loans would be made available from Monday, which will be interest free for 12 months.
Despite restaurants and bars being closed down, they’re still allowed to offer takeaway. The recent shift in people avoiding restaurants and bars has meant that many leading venues across London and the UK are already diversifying their businesses to allow for this.
Looking to help your favourite local during the downturn? Here are easy ways you can help restaurants during the Coronavirus crisis.