Will the reopening of nightclubs on June 21 be delayed?
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) membership survey found that 95% of companies have already made financial commitments and are preparing for a reopening on June 21.
It comes as ministers have said it is “too early” to say whether it will be possible to reopen nightclubs next month.
If the country is allowed to take the final step in the government’s roadmap to unlocking, all legal limits on social contact would be removed and closed businesses would be allowed to reopen from June 21.
However, there are concerns about a coronavirus variant first identified in India, which has been shown to be more transmissible than previous dominant strains.
Ministers will review data from Covid-19, including the Indian variant of the virus, ahead of an announcement on the future of the roadmap on June 14.
The NTIA has warned that any delay or adaptation of the roadmap could lead to business failures and job losses.
NTIA boss Michael Kill said: “The harsh reality for both industry and government is that thousands of businesses risk being plunged into further financial difficulty by deviating from the plan to reopen. .
Just under three-quarters of the companies surveyed (73%) had called staff while 54% had ordered strock and 60% had sold tickets.
Additionally, 85% of operators need at least a fortnight’s notice to prepare for a relaunch, while more than a third said it would take them at least four weeks to prepare.
Kill added: “Obviously, the government has a misunderstanding of the timelines, readiness and operational requirements of our industry, given the ridiculous seven-day notice period it said it would give before the reopening.”
Overwhelmed with debt
“Operators requested a minimum of three weeks to prepare for the opening and, as in the events industry, were forced to take financial risks by investing in preparing for the opening, including needing to recruit staff due to shortages, procure equipment and perform maintenance on their premises.
“Ultimately, the inability to plan could cost operators dearly if we see the date for a full reopening slide.”
The overnight economics adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord, called on the government to “stand firm and allow some of the hardest hit industries to prepare for the opening with a certain level of confidence that it does not have. there will be more delays ”.
He added: “These businesses are already overburdened with debt, struggling to replenish the workforce, and are under pressure to prepare to open in an extremely short period of time. Let’s not complicate things by moving the goal posts. “