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Up to 200,000 pub and restaurant workers face job cuts as London moves to tier 2

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Pubs in London as the UK capital is set to go into tier 2 lockdown after October 16, 2020
Up to 200,000 pub and restaurant staff could lose their jobs this weekend, industry experts fear (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Up to 200,000 hospitality staff in central London could become unemployed as the capital is plunged into a tier two lockdown from midnight tonight.

Industry bosses fear tens of thousands could face the axe this weekend as households are banned from mixing indoors, including at hospitality venues.

Groups of six will still be allowed to meet in beer gardens or restaurants with outdoor seating under the new measures, which will also affect residents in Essex, York and parts of Derbyshire.

Dozens of revellers were pictured enjoying a final evening out with friends before the new restrictions are imposed.

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But the loss of trade as a result could be ‘catastrophic’ for the capital, an industry expert has warned.

The owner of one restaurant in Dalston, east London, lost £25,000 in a single day after hundreds of cancellations in the wake of the Government’s tier two announcement.

w8media A busy soho with people packing the streets eating and drinking before the sat night lockdown kicks in
Crowds of people gather in Soho tonight after pubs shut at 10pm (Picture: w8media)
People drink at the outside tables of a cafe in Soho, in central London on September 24, 2020, on the first day of the new earlier closing times for pubs and bars in England and Wales, introduced to combat the spread of the coronavirus. - Britain has tightened restrictions to stem a surge of coronavirus cases, ordering pubs to close early and advising people to go back to working from home to prevent a second national lockdown. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
People drinking outside a cafe in Soho in central London after the 10pm curfew was announced last month (Picture: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said businesses in central London were probably better off to be ‘paid to be closed’ – describing tier two as a ‘curse’ for traders, Mail Online reports.

She told BBC Breakfast: ‘The pain of tier two is that you have no government support and that’s what we need the government to urgently address otherwise you are going to have about 200,000 people in central London losing their jobs this weekend.

‘If you go into level three you are getting support if you’re closed, so at least you would have something to pay the teams.

‘Being moved into tier 2 is a curse for businesses. They will be trapped in a no man’s land of being open, but with severe restrictions that will significantly hit custom, all while unable to access the job support available in tier 3.

‘It is the worst of both worlds for businesses.’

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 04, 2020 A member of bar staff wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) in the form of a face mask, serves food to seated customers inside the Wetherspoon pub, Goldengrove, in Stratford in east London, as restrictions are further eased during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Pubs and restaurants in the UK are set to lose more than half a million jobs by the end of the year due to lower attendance, and shorter opening hours to counter the coronavirus pandemic, a survey conducted by trade association UKHospitality warned on October 6, 2020. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Londoners face strict rules on socialising with other households from midnight tonight – sparking fears of huge job cuts (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVID-19). PA Photo. Picture date: Friday October 16, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire
Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the situation in Greater Manchester as ‘grave’ during a press conference today (Picture: PA)

Increased home working and tourism nosediving have also hit the capital hard, Ms Nicholls added.

She believes the government must give tier three support for businesses in tier two, or the capital could face ‘widespread’ job losses from November 1, when the furlough scheme is due to end.

The new job support scheme now requires employers to meet up to 55% of staff wages, with 22% covered by the Government.

Under the previous furlough scheme the Government covered 80% of workers’ wages for businesses unable to open their doors due to lockdown.

More: Coronavirus

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Up to 200,000 pub and restaurant workers face job cuts as London moves to tier 2

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Trump-supporting yogurt shop 'offered discounts to customers not wearing masks'

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Lancashire 'blackmailed and bullied' into accepting tier 3 lockdown

Lancashire will join Liverpool City region under tier three coronavirus restrictions from midnight tonight.

But council leaders have accused the government of ‘bullying’ them into accepting the measures – amid fears residents and businesses could be left destitute.

This afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned he would ‘intervene’ if an agreement cannot be reached to place Greater Manchester in tier three – describing the situation as ‘grave’.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.
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