Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said the industry was facing “significant staffing challenges”, with up to a fifth of staff isolating at any one time.
“Without better intervention, operators will continue to be forced to reduce their operating hours or to close venues completely, missing the opportunity to begin on their road to recovery,” she said. “We urge the Government to move quicker on this issue to prevent the summer being cancelled and vast swathes of the population unnecessarily confined to their homes.”
Speaking from the Cinnamon Cafe she runs in Ealing, west London, Rachael Hunt said: “I’m one of the lucky ones – none of my staff have been pinged so far. But if my staff got pinged, I’d have to shut down.”
It was a prediction echoed across the small retail sector.
Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association, said: “In a small shop, if one member of staff tests positive it’s likely that nearly all that team will be deemed to be in close contact, including the owner. Most likely, the shop has to close. That’s a…