UKHospitality welcomes Wales Covid passport announcement

UKHospitality Cymru has warmly welcomed this afternoon’s Ministerial announcement that there are “no immediate plans” to extend Covid passes into more parts of hospitality.

The Senedd statement, by Finance Minister Rebecca Evans (pictured), was described as “a huge relief for thousands of businesses across Wales,” by David Chapman, UKHospitality’s Executive Director for Wales.

Chapman expanded, “Night time businesses in Wales are already reporting a double digit drop in trade linked to the enforcement of Covid Pass restrictions - and the wider industry fears economic instability and simply not having enough staff to cope with across the board restrictions.

“We await the three-weekly review for full details but the Finance Minister’s prompt statement allows our businesses to plan for immediate trade and we’re grateful for that important heads-up.'

Chapman continued, “For our affected members, Covid Passes are cutting trade, pushing up costs, stretching staff resources to the limit and negatively affecting public perceptions of sound and tested industry safety regimes.

'If the passes were rolled out more widely they would likely to restrict hospitality trade by up to 15 per cent at the most critical time of the year, damaging industry recovery and jeopardising new year business and job sustainability.

“Up to a third of each business’s annual trade is conducted in the weeks running up to Christmas and the New Year, so to lose any of that vital revenue would impact the next twelve months, not least the subsequent three quieter months.'

Chapman concluded, “For all of our businesses, staffing and recruitment is a major issue and to have members of staff constantly tied up checking passes would put huge pressure on others trying serve customers.

'All evidence suggests that almost all transmission take place away from our premises, so there is no obvious and valid argument for struggling hospitality businesses to be singled out for restrictions.”