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‘Only 5 restaurants in England remain open for eat-in diners’

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There are now just five restaurants in the whole of England open for dine-in custom following the latest set of tier adjustments that came into force on New Year’s Eve.

According to real estate adviser Altus Group, the five sites that are still allowed to seat customers are all based in the Isles of Scilly, which is the only area of England in Tier 1. There are currently no areas in Tier 2.

Altus Group said the latest changes had pushed a further 4,946 restaurants into Tier 3 and an extra 22,082 restaurants into Tier 4.

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Government restrictions mean that any hospitality business in Tier 3 or Tier 4 must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services.

Trade body UKHospitality said the hospitality industry had “returned to the conditions at the end of March – effectively shut down”.

It warned of a “bloodbath” without further government action in terms of VAT, business rates and grant support.

Altus Group said its research shows that more than 1,600 restaurants undertook their final service in 2020, with almost 30,000 staff losing their jobs as the economic impact of Covid-19 took its toll.

It estimates that 29,684 jobs were lost across fine dining, independent businesses and large multiple casual-dining chains, up 163% on the 11,280 jobs that vanished the previous year.

Branch closures in 2020 rose by 76% to 1,621, up from 922 in 2019 with significant reductions in sites and employee numbers at Pizza Express, SSP Group, Casual Dining Group (The Big Table), The Restaurant Group, Mitchells & Butlers, Harvester, Beefeater and Pret a Manger.

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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