Lockdown will 'decimate' hospitality industry, says Lowry Hotel boss

The new lockdown will ‘decimate’ the UK’s hospitality industry – and it won’t begin to recover until the spring, says manager of Manchester’s five-star Lowry Hotel

  • Adrian Ellis has called on the government to extend furlough beyond December
  • He also says cut in VAT to 5% for the hospitality industry should be extended 
  • Overnight stays and holidays will be banned under new lockdown in England  

The UK’s hospitality industry will be ‘decimated’ by the second lockdown just as it was beginning to dust off the damage of the first.

That’s according to Adrian Ellis, the manager of Manchester’s five-star Lowry Hotel and the chair of the Manchester Hoteliers’ Association (MHA), who believes the industry won’t begin to bounce back until spring 2021.

Now he is calling on the government to extend its furlough scheme beyond December, as well as extend the cut in VAT to five per cent for the hospitality sector beyond January 12, 2021.

Adrian Ellis, the manager of Manchester’s five-star Lowry Hotel, who says the UK’s hospitality industry will be ‘decimated’ by the new lockdown

Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed in England from midnight as part of the new coronavirus lockdown. Hotels and other accommodation can only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and a ‘limited number of other reasons’. The regulations will stay in place until at least December 2.

Mr Ellis said: ‘Sadly, the new regulations have once again decimated the UK’s hospitality industry, which had just begun to dust itself down and assess the damage after the effects of the first UK lockdown.

‘At the moment, the trajectory to reopening and the long-term story is very unclear, as no one yet knows when they can return to work and what will happen pre and post-Christmas.

‘To aid the impact, we need to see the extension of the five per cent VAT into 2021 and for the government’s furlough scheme to continue beyond December, as things will not bounce back come December 3.

‘The hospitality industry requires additional grants to support areas of the business, which are closed for the foreseeable, including events, conference and banqueting facilities and bars and restaurants.

‘We will need a mass push for normality to resume. The industry struggled first time around, our cities were left empty with people working from home and businesses simply cannot survive, we need people back in the city when it is safe to do so.

The Lowry Hotel will remain open during the four-week lockdown but will only be accepting business guests 

‘Despite the difficulties we currently face, we look forward to a brighter 2021, when we expect to see growth in the industry, and hope for a positive trajectory from spring onwards.’

The Lowry Hotel itself will remain open during the four-week lockdown but will only be accepting business guests – not leisure guests.

The hotel’s River Restaurant, The Lowry Lounge and Bar and The Lowry Spa will all close temporarily.

Mr Ellis added: ‘We will remain open for pre-booked business groups throughout the month of November and will remain available for future business group enquiries until we can reopen to the public in December, following additional guidance from the government.

‘We will have minimal staff working on the premises to serve our business guests and will be offering a room-service breakfast only.

‘It is disappointing we need to adopt these measures and we are all deeply saddened the industry is once again in this vulnerable position, however, we fully understand for the health of the country, why we must adopt these measures.’

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