More towns and cities look set to move into the highest tier of lockdown, as millions of people already woke up on Saturday 24th of October under what is essentially lockdown. This comes in the wake of new government restrictions on business and hospitality causing further uncertainty in the sector.
Despite the lockdown, the hospitality industry, which pays the second most amount of tax into the U.K. exchequer after financial services, has welcomed the backdated support grants announced by the Chancellor last week, although the extended support package only goes so far.
However, the range of support for businesses does not account for profit lost throughout the pandemic. Months of small and medium sized businesses having to move in and out of restrictions has caused unprecedented uncertainty which inn turn has prevented many from being able to keep staff on permanently.
A further challenge is that the current system create a vast disparity across the country, leading to some areas such as Stoke-on-Trent only just moving to tier 2 last week, whilst the Wirral which has seen far lower lower cases per 100-thousand, is in tier 3. The system in its current form does not indicate any time limit on restrictions, or clarity as to how a region moves out of a tier. This means some areas of the England have been in what is essentially full lockdown since April and several local councils are now calling for set, laid down and clear thresholds to define the exact point when regions and cities move from one tier to another.