Ahead of today’s possible vote in parliament on the 10pm curfew, UKHospitality has urged MPs to rethink the initiative that is crippling hospitality businesses.
The government is allowing votes for recent Covid-19 restrictions that have been applied in England.
It is believed a Conservative rebellion on the curfew is beginning to grow, with many backbench MPs willing to vote against the prime minister’s rule.
Giving evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Committee yesterday, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls highlighted the damaging effect the restriction has had on a sector which is already on its knees.
Declining revenues since the introduction of the curfew have already led to business closures, with the increased potential for further failures.
Staff shifts have had to be removed to accommodate the early closing time, putting workers at further risk of job losses.
The lack of a staggered closing time in England and Scotland has also created a potentially dangerous pinch point as customers are forced to leave venues en masse.
UKHospitality has called for a complete rethink of the curfew which is crippling a sector already struggling to survive and has repeated calls for a comprehensive package of support to safeguard businesses and jobs.
“We have no staggered ending like we have seen in Ireland and Wales,” says Nicholls.
“Other European countries have a later curfew point, with last orders at 11 and closure at 12, which eases the pressure.
“The regulatory impact on businesses needs to be considered, particularly when so low a number of outbreaks are linked to hospitality.
“We urge the government to rethink the curfew so that it can deliver the public health objective without damaging businesses and risking further job losses.
“We also need an immediate and comprehensive package of support to keep businesses alive and prevent redundancies on a large scale.”