UKHospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, has welcomed plans unveiled by the government to end virtually all Covid-19 restrictions in the UK.
All Covid restrictions will end in England on Thursday and free mass testing will stop from April 1st.
People in England will no longer be legally required to isolate should they test positive for Covid-19 – but they will be encouraged to do so.
In response, Nicholls said: “It is heartening to hear that we are now moving to trading based on the safety measures that businesses have put in place and we hope that this will ignite consumer confidence in our sector and beyond.
“The hospitality industry has proved that its venues are safe for staff and consumers and that, when allowed to trade without restrictions, it can be a major driver of economic growth and recovery.
“We are pleased to see that much of our five-point plan for living with Covid-19 has been taken forward by government.”
From April, the provision of free testing would be targeted to the most vulnerable, prime minister, Boris Johnson, said.
The full plan can be seen here.
However, Nicholls called for further financial support to boost the tourism sector.
She added: “Hospitality was hit first, longest and hardest by this pandemic, however, and with costs rising across the board and a VAT rise due this April – just as the cost of living crisis is set to bite – businesses in the sector still need support.
“At the very least, we need the government commit to keeping VAT at 12.5 per cent beyond April in order for the industry to be able to play its full role in the social and economic recovery.”