Yesterday’s announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed that the government will not be allowing for the easing of lockdown on June 21 as originally planned. Now, the roadmap is set for July 19, four weeks after the original date.
The final sector to reopen in the UK is the nightlife industry, as well as venues and festivals hosting live music and mass events. The NTIA reported that by June 21, this industry will have been at a standstill for 449 days.
This could be detrimental to many businesses across the UK which now face financial difficulties with little to no help from the government. Closing for a further month, after many businesses have sold tickets to events and re-hired staff, will “switch the light off” for the industry according to NTIA CEO Michael Kill.
He added: “This is a hugely devastating blow for the very industries that have been hardest hit by this pandemic. Many businesses have not survived this pandemic and others are on a financial cliff-edge, unable to operate viably.
"Hundreds of thousands of jobs have already been lost, a huge pool of creative talent has been swept away, and we have been left to suffer extreme financial hardship."
The NTIA has also put out a flash survey to 300 night-time economy business owners amidst the pushback fears, which told that one in four businesses will not survive longer than a month of closure without government support.
The survey also concluded that 54% of businesses have spent over £15,000 in preparation for reopening on June 21, and a further 58% will lose out on over £10,000 revenue a week over the course of the next month.
As venues and businesses now struggle to pay for rent, staff, and supplies, Monday’s announcement could put many in danger. The NTIA is urging the government for extension grants for businesses, tax reliefs, and insurance cover for events and festivals.
“The Government must understand the human impact of this decision, not only considering the public health challenges of the virus but also the people within our sector who are suffering terribly and the real health risks that this represents, given the overwhelming confidence in the vaccination rollout, and the ability for the sector to deliver Covid safe environments.”
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter