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Leaders express 'disappointment' on new Covid measures

16 October 2020

Solihull business and political leaders have said they are ‘disappointed’ that new restrictions have been imposed on the borough this week, impacting an already fragile hospitality sector even further.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that a new three-tier alert system would be in force across England.

Under the new system, Solihull has been placed in tier two, alongside Birmingham, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.

In the second tier, ‘high’ level, restrictions include:

  • Households will not be able to meet indoors (except with support bubbles) including indoor hospitality as well as private homes
  • People are advised to minimise the number of journeys they make
  • While you can still go on holiday, it can only be with people you live with, or your support bubble

These restrictions are in conjunction with other nationwide rules, including:

  • Certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am
  • Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • Weddings are permitted to have no more than 15 attendees with the same for receptions.
  • Funerals can only have 30 attendees, with a maximum of 15 at wakes and commemorations.

Since the new rules came into force on Wednesday, leaders have expressed their disappointment and anger at the new rules, and it’s particular harsh impact on the hospitality sector.

Julian Knight, MP for Solihull, said: “I’m deeply disappointed that Solihull, along with other West Midlands boroughs, is to be placed in tier two lockdown, meaning we will be subject to more restrictions. This decision has the potential to inflict untold damage on the hospitality sector and was not what local leaders wanted

“.It’s vital that we try to ensure a balance is struck between protecting the vulnerable from Covid-19 and allowing businesses to continue operating safely. Making hospitality unviable by restricting the ability of households to mix, while not including those businesses in new support measures unless they’re forced to close, would be the worst of all worlds.”

Lillian Elekan (pictured), head of Solihull Chamber of Commerce, added: “Hospitality in the borough has been massively impacted by the health crisis, and this is yet another blow to an already fragile sector.

“We must see more from Government to balance jobs, save lives and drive infections down. We fear that this new system may not have the desired impact that Government intends, and will cause inexplicable damage to key sectors in this borough as a result.

“Alongside my colleagues at Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, we are calling for Government to step up, follow evidence-based decision making and deliver actual, meaningful support to save business and jobs as we head into a harsh winter.”

  • Contact their GBCC relationship manager
  • Call the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce business support helpline on 0121 274 3280 for advice and guidance in English, Bengali, Urdu and Punjabi.
  • Read the Chamber’s coronavirus support grid for businesses
  • Contact KBM@Birmingham-Chamber.com

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