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


Alice Woodhouse in Hong Kong

Boris Johnson on Monday night ordered the instant closure of all main and secondary colleges till mid-February and informed folks to not go away their houses apart from particular functions, comparable to for important work.

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

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


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

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


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

“With out pressing, sufficient help, 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 stated.


Some sectors stated it will be enterprise as standard. The property business stated homebuyers will nonetheless have the ability to profit from the stamp responsibility 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 sluggish the momentum of the UK property market on condition that official authorities recommendation nonetheless deems it okay to transact and transfer house,” stated Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves.


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

“Docs are determined, with some even evaluating their working setting to a warzone as wards overflow, ready lists develop, and ambulances queue exterior hospitals as a result of there are actually so many individuals with Covid-19,” stated 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 workers

The GMB Union, which represents faculty help workers, stated Mr Johnson’s U-turn on faculty closures was embarrassing and got here after stress from colleges.

“Nobody desires to disrupt any youngster’s studying, however this obligatory 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 colleges,” stated Rehana Azam, GMB nationwide secretary.