19 Dec 2020

Closing 'non-essential' retail in London and South East tonight 'disastrous' for businesses, says Bira

Bira says closing non-essential retail in London and the South East from midnight tonight (Saturday) under new coronavirus restrictions is 'disastrous for businesses'.

Boris Johnson announced that London and the South East will be plunged into a new tier 4 of restrictions in a statement this afternoon.

The announcement included the introduction of other measures such as a shorter lifting of restrictions for Christmas celebrations across England.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, said: "Closing down non-essential shops as from Sunday in London and the South East is a disaster for those businesses.

"They have only been open for 17 days in the busiest month of the year and will now miss out if the festive period and New Year sales.

"They need financial support that reflects what they have lost and certainly better than the grants made available in November (many of which have not been paid).

"Bira still believes that closing down Covid-secure non-essential shops at this time of year does not deter people form coming out. It only leads to larger crowds in those stores left to trade, giving every opportunity for this virus to spread. I recommend that all shops are allowed to stay open until at least Christmas Day."

Read the Government's full statement here

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