NGI supports the need to pause the further lifting of restrictions to safeguard our region. Keeping people safe and stopping the spread of the virus is the absolute priority. We would prefer a four week delay now, than see an increase in hospitalisations or the threat of further national or local restrictions which would be devastating for hospitality and tourism businesses.
These announcements do however reduce confidence in the roadmap and will impact on future bookings as well as reducing revenues as businesses will continue to run with limited capacity due to social distancing. The announcements are a particular blow to live music and events businesses, as most have now been closed for 15 months and for the business events and meetings sector who are dependent on the return of businesses to meeting in person.
We call upon the Government to provide further stability and clarity to businesses by extending furlough deadline and considering additional further support measures.
We continue to work alongside all local authorities, as well as our partner network, to support the tourism industry in NewcastleGateshead and the wider North East. To improve our region’s resilience, we urge everyone to get vaccinated, to continue self-testing and to be responsible and isolate when necessary as well as continuing to wash our hands, cover our faces and give each other space.