Businesses and MPs blast new lockdown as 200,000 Brits face losing their jobs this weekend

BUSNISESES and MPs have blasted new Covid lockdown measures could see 250,000 lose their jobs this weekend.

Around half of England – including nine million people in London – are from today stricter Tier 2 lockdown in a bid to halt the rise of infections.

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Other areas moving into Tier Two include Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield.

People from separate households are banned from mixing indoors – including in pubs and restaurants under Tier 2 restrictions.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, said that being moved into Tier 2 “is a curse for businesses”.

She estimated firms in central London would let around 200,000 people go this weekend alone with business “trapped in a no man’s land”.

The measures were “the worst of both worlds” – damaging trade but without support available to firms in Tier 3 areas, where pubs and bars must close unless they serve substantial meals.


“A move into Tier 2 will now be catastrophic for some of them and it is only going to be made worse by the end of the furlough scheme in under two weeks,” she said.

Jeremy King, co-founder of the Corbin & King restaurant group, added: “Under the guise of saving lives the Government is justifying these ill-conceived and badly thought out initiatives ultimately to save their own skin.”

Sir Bob Neill, Tory MP for Bromley and Chislehurst added his voice to the anger about the new measures affecting London.

 

“This will be disastrous for businesses in the hospitality sector,” he said.

“It can’t be right that businesses like pubs and restaurants are forced to operate at such a reduced level of capacity that they can’t actually turn a profit.”

There are also fears that tube trains, buses and suburban rail services could grind to a halt if Transport for London burns through its money and is unable to pay its obligations

Lancashire has now moved into Tier 3 restrictions, meaning people cannot meet different households indoors or outdoors, with Liverpool already in that category.

Boris Johnson has threatened to impose Tier 3 on Greater Manchester as the PM finds himself at odds with its Mayor Andy Burnham.

He claimed Downing Street was trying to impose unproven measures "on the cheap" and was using the north as a “sacrificial lamb”.

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