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Coronavirus newest: Bumper Christmas for UK supermarkets as pubs and eating places shut

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Alice Woodhouse in Hong Kong

Boris Johnson on Monday night ordered the speedy closure of all major and secondary faculties till mid-February and instructed individuals to not depart their houses aside from particular functions, reminiscent of for important work.

The announcement piled strain on the nation’s already fragile financial system, drawing requires additional authorities assist for enterprise.

Right here’s how business teams responded to the measures:

Retail

“Retailers need to commerce their technique to restoration but when they’re compelled to shut then additional monetary assist might be wanted or many companies will go bust and hundreds of viable jobs might be misplaced,” mentioned Helen Dickinson, chief government of the British Retail Consortium.

Retailers in England might lose £2bn every week in gross sales due to the lockdown, BRC estimates. Ms Dickinson mentioned 178,000 retail jobs had been misplaced in 2020 and 250,000 employees have been presently on furlough.

Hospitality

Foyer group Marketing campaign for Pubs known as for a assist bundle for pubs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire following months of pandemic-related closures.

“With out pressing, ample assist, many pubs, together with pubs which have survived for hundreds of years and two world wars, might be misplaced – and plenty of households reliant on pubs and hospitality face hardship and homelessness,” the group mentioned.

Property

Some sectors mentioned it could be enterprise as regular. The property business mentioned homebuyers will nonetheless have the ability to profit from the stamp obligation vacation because the business will proceed to function in the course of the lockdown.

“The most recent information of one other nationwide lockdown ought to do little to gradual the momentum of the UK property market on condition that official authorities recommendation nonetheless deems it alright to transact and transfer residence,” mentioned Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves.

Medics

The medical group welcomed the lockdown. The British Medical Affiliation mentioned it supported the measures as hospitals are stretched to “breaking level” even earlier than an anticipated surge because of households mixing over Christmas.

“Medical doctors are determined, with some even evaluating their working surroundings to a warzone as wards overflow, ready lists develop, and ambulances queue outdoors hospitals as a result of there at the moment are so many individuals with Covid-19,” mentioned Chaand Nagpaul, BMA chair.

Dr Nagpaul known as for the vaccination of healthcare employees to be boosted to allow them to proceed to take care of sufferers.

Faculty employees

The GMB Union, which represents faculty assist employees, mentioned Mr Johnson’s U-turn on faculty closures was embarrassing and got here after strain from faculties.

“Nobody desires to disrupt any baby’s studying, however this crucial measure would have already got been taken days in the past if this authorities had an oz. of competence, or respect both for the science or these working in faculties,” mentioned Rehana Azam, GMB nationwide secretary.