Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Hospitality industry demands official shutdown order so they can claim insurance

Boris Johnson was accused of 'sacrificing' pubs, restaurants and cinemas in the coronavirus crisis today amid claims his refusal to order a shutdown means they cannot claim insurance.

The PM last night declared that Britons should avoid all 'non-essential' social contact, including going out for meals, drinks or a film. 

However, he stopped short of compelling closures, sparking fury across the industry with warning that swathes of firms face going out of business.  

High-profile figures including chefs Simon Rimmer and Raymond Blanc joined calls for the position to be made clear. Food critic Jay Rayner tweeted that Mr Johnson's actions were 'staggeringly reckless'.  


However, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has warned most firms will not even have the right cover allowing them to claim compensation if they were forced to shut. 

The row came as Chancellor Rishi Sunak prepares to unveil a massive package of aid designed to avoid the crisis effectively sending the country bankrupt.

Scrapping utility bills and cancelling council tax are among the extraordinary 'wartime' measures being mooted for the response, which will be unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak later. 

Some experts have suggested the government will have to pump an unprecedented £450billion into the economy to avoid mass destruction of businesses and workers being sent into poverty.   


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