HOSPITALITY firms are ramping up calls for support from the Government as the spread of Omicron and health warnings wreak havoc on pubs and restaurants with one leading restaurateur calling it the latest health warnings a 'body blow' for the industry.
The rapid rise in Covid-19 cases as the Omicron variant sweeps the country has led to a surge in booking cancellations, with consumer confidence knocked by new restrictions and increasing health warnings.
England's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has advised Britons to consider cutting back socialising around Christmas, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people should “think carefully” before going out to celebrate.
John Hooker, who runs renowned Devon gastropub the Cornish Arms, in Tavistock, said he had lost 50% of his bookings following Professor Whitty's comments to the nation on Wednesday, which have since come under fire from Conservative MPs who accused him of overreaching his authority.
Mr Hooker said he did not want to be taking a swipe at the Government, but that the comments from the health chief had created fresh fears among both the public - and his staff.
"Our bookings have been dropping like a stone - it's been crazy, really," Mr Hooker said.
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