RELAXING lockdown restrictions is just a small step in getting the economy moving again, say business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday (June 23) that the two-metre social distancing rule is being relaxed and that some businesses in the leisure, hospitality and tourism sector can open from July 4.
From that date, venues such as pubs, restaurants, art galleries, museums and cinemas will be able to open – with restrictions – and venues will be able to hold weddings for up to 30 people.
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a small step as we look to get the economy moving again, but we are still some way off where we need to be in terms of building a recovery.
“The leisure, hospitality and tourism sector is vital to Coventry and Warwickshire and while this gives many businesses in that field the opportunity to open up again, it is going to be against a backdrop of restrictions and with a great deal of uncertainty – both in terms of health and financially – among their customer-base.
“As we have said previously, this sector is going to need support in getting back on its feet and on an ongoing basis if we are going to nurture it back to its feet.
“The Government support for business during the last three months has been vital for the survival of so many firms and it must be ready to continue that help – targeting it at certain industries – as we move forward.”
British Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall said: “Broader efforts to boost business and consumer confidence will still be needed to help firms trade their way out of this crisis.
“A comprehensive test and trace system, including a mass testing regime, must be in place to realise the benefits that the easing of restrictions could bring to firms across the UK, many of whom are relying on the swift return of consumer confidence.
“Businesses also need a clear roadmap to recovery, including fresh support for the worst-affected sectors and geographic areas, and broader fiscal measures to get the economy moving again.”