Mayor welcomes changes to lockdown measures

Covid-19 News | Economy & Politics | Leisure & Tourism | South West
WofE Mayor Tim Bowles

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, has welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister, which sets out further changes to lockdown measures in England.

From Saturday 4 July, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to re-open, providing they adhere to Covid Secure guidelines. People will be able to can enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites and some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also re-open if they can do so safely.

Bowles said: “This change will certainly kickstart the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries and help our region’s economic recovery. However, while reducing social distancing to one metre will make a big difference to pubs and restaurants, it will only allow an extra one or two people on a bus so the travel advice remains the same – only travel on public transport if you have no other options and remember to wear a face covering. We all have a part to play in reducing the pressure on our public transport services. Please walk, cycle or use the car if you need to and avoid peak travel times if you possibly can.

“I’m asking employers to do what they can to share government travel guidance with staff and support them to avoid travelling at peak times where possible, that includes continuing to work from home if possible, and changing start and finish times. I recognise that these measures aren’t possible for all types of businesses, but if all do what we can, we can make sure travel is as safe as it can be.”

Industry reaction

Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound “Today’s announcement that pubs, restaurants, hotels and attractions can officially open on the 4th July will come as a huge relief to businesses across the tourism and hospitality industry, who have earnt very little revenue since the beginning of March. Reducing social distancing from two metres to one will also ensure that many more businesses will be able to viably reopen at the start of next month.

“We’re pleased that the Government has also listened to industry and is on the verge of agreeing ‘air corridors’ with a number of countries – a step that signals that the UK’s tourism inbound industry is keen to welcome international tourists again. Although these measures are very much to be welcomed, Government needs to recognise that whilst some businesses will hopefully be able to re-coup a small proportion of their losses over the much shorter summer season, many businesses, especially those that rely wholly or mostly on inbound tourism, will have gone through the equivalent of ‘three winters’ and will need further financial support if they are to survive and continue to drive jobs and growth across the UK.”

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