Boris Johnson can order pubs, bars, and restaurants to shut down – as industry leaders denounce ‘lockdown of stealth’. Plan B could see festive takes cut by 40%. 

Already, there is pressure on the government to improve support for hospitality companies after some booked revellers disappeared overnight following the implementation of “Plan B” restrictions in order to combat Omicron. 

According to Treasury sources, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor, is willing to let the money taps go again if ministers feel closures are required, but they insist that this doesn’t mean there were more restrictions. 

Boris Johnson has already come under pressure to increase the support it is providing to hospitality businesses after some saw festive bookings 'disappear overnight'

Boris Johnson is already under pressure to improve its support for hospitality companies after seeing festive bookings disappear overnight.

According to The Times, if we get to the point where we tell businesses they must close their doors then it’s not unreasonable to expect them additional government support. 

“That might mean that the furlough system is being reinstated, however, depending on whether any further restrictions are required, there may be other methods of providing this support.

Tony Danker and Tony Martin, the chairman of Wetherspoon, are just two business leaders that suggest ministers might be trying to impose ‘lockdown through stealth’ in a period when Omicron was still not established. 

Danker claimed that certain economic sectors have been affected by the Government’s messages.

He said that although there were measures that would keep the economy open and that messages could have closed it, he felt that they did not have enough to do so.

“People should feel worried enough that they go to the doctor immediately, but not to worry about stopping going to stores, restaurants and airports.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is prepared to loosen the money taps again if ministers decide closures are necessary, according to a Treasury source

According to a Treasury source, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of India is ready to let the money taps go again if Ministers feel closures are required.

“That’s why it’s not working” is a double-whammy for those in hospitality, retail, leisure, or travel where the demand is falling and no recovery support.

“So, while we support the booster campaign and encourage all employees to do the same, it has had an unintended effect of reducing demand across many sectors of our economy.

Christmas is the busiest time for restaurants and pubs, however UK Hospitality estimates that the takings in some areas of central London will drop by as much as 40%. 

The Guardian reported that data it published from Monday through Sunday last week revealed a 13% decline in trade and an increase of 15% in cancellations in the country compared to pre-pandemic levels. 

Sajid Javid, Prime Minister of India, warned yesterday that those who do not get their boosters may lose their status as a ‘fully vaccinated person’.

The Health Secretary tightened the rules by stating that those who have only two jabs will find it more difficult to travel internationally and get into certain venues in the UK.

According to sources, the changes are likely to take effect in February.

Johnson refused repeatedly to allow for further restrictions being loosened in the upcoming ten days.

Christmas is the most lucrative time of the year for pubs and restaurants, but trade body UK Hospitality forecasts that takings will be down as much as 40%. File pic

Although Christmas is the busiest time for restaurants and pubs, UK Hospitality predicts that the takings could drop as high as 40%. File pic

Yesterday, he spoke to reporters and said that he hopes Plan B, which includes increased use of masks and work from home, will be sufficient to stop the spread of the virus.

Three times, however, he declined to say no to imposing more severe measures in the lead up to Christmas.

Plans B could be resented by up to 79 Tories  

Harriet Line (Chief Political Correspondent, Daily Mail) 

Boris Johnson faces the biggest revolt of his premiership today as a third of Tory backbenchers prepare to rebel against his Plan B vaccine passport measures.

As many as 79 Conservative MPs – equivalent to the Government’s working majority – are ready to vote against plans that will mean the NHS Covid pass is required for entry at larger venues.

Downing Street suggests that the closure of hospitality establishments could occur without vaccination passports.

But critical MPs claim the ‘illiberal’ measures, set to come into force from tomorrow, will not work.

Many ministerial aides have resigned. This large revolt will strike a blow at the Prime Minister, but it won’t be embarrassing as Labour says that they will support the measures.

One Tory MP Marcus Fysh caused a furious argument yesterday by comparing their implementation to Nazi Germany’s policies. ‘This is not Nazi Germany,’ he told the BBC. ‘It’s the thin end of an authoritarian wedge and that’s why we will resist it.’

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said his remarks were ‘completely unacceptable’. 

The Mail last week revealed that ministers have already begun to consider additional restrictions.

This includes requiring that people “check-in” at pubs or restaurants using the NHS Covid app. It also extends mask use to hospitality and increases the requirements for Covid passport entry.

Whitehall sources claimed that officials have also taken back measures put in place during the lockdown. These included reintroducing table services and requiring people outside. However, No 10 denied this. Official spokesperson for the PM stated that there were no plans beyond what was already set forth.

While the spokesperson admitted that the Government may in extremis tighten the curbs on Thursday night’s Parliamentary recess, it said it wasn’t under consideration.

Some ministers feel that additional restrictions are inevitable but want to postpone until after Christmas. 

According to a source, “Everyone wants people to enjoy a decent Christmas. After that we will all see where we stand.” This may lead to a more limited January.

Yesterday’s statement by the PM was: “Throughout the pandemic, I have been taking great care to stress to public that we must watch what’s happening and that we will take every step necessary to preserve public health.” 

He stated, “What can I tell you? We think looking at Omicron from a balance of risks and epidemiology perspective, as well as looking at Omicron’s current status, all that we know so far, that Omicron still has important information that is not available.

“We believe that this approach is the most effective: Combination of a Plan A, which are some reasonable steps to slow down the spread of virus, to give us time to lower the infection rate and mortality rate and combine it with rapid building of our booster defenses. 

It is used widely for international travel by the NHS Covid card and it will be central to the vaccination passport scheme.

The scheme was open until now to adults double-jabbed.

This is changing because evidence shows that Omicron infection can be prevented with just two shots.

Mr. Javid said that once all adults had an opportunity to have their booster jabs, we will change the exemption and require booster shots.