Government must do more to help Covid-hit businesses, says CBI, as Bath enters Tier 3

December 30, 2020

The South West CBI has called for a rethink of government support for businesses hit by Covid-related restrictions ahead of much of the region going into higher tiers – including Bath and North East Somerset – from midnight tonight.

Bath and North East Somerset along with Wiltshire will move into Tier 3, dealing a fresh blow to their already-beleaguered hospitality and tourist industries. 

Both areas had avoided entering the higher tier on Boxing Day when nearby places such as Bristol suffered that fate amid rising cases.

However, the sudden increase since Christmas, particularly those links to the new variant, means many areas have been moved into higher tiers.

Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants across Bath and North East Somerset and Wiltshire must close from  midnight except for takeaway, delivery and click-and-collect services. Hotels and B&Bs must also close while the Roman Baths and Pump Room have temporarily closed.

CBI South West director Deborah Fraser said she understood that the government had to act to protect public health but added: “Tightening restrictions across many areas provides a torrid end to an already tough year for many businesses.

“There is now a growing need to re-evaluate government support in January to ensure firms can survive through to the Spring and beyond.

“While the vaccine rollout and efforts to increase mass rapid testing offer hope going into 2021, it is clear challenges will continue well into next year.

“Steadfast support should continue to help struggling firms and lay the foundations for the economic recovery.”

Bath & North East Somerset Council cabinet member for community services Paul Crossley said: “As Bath and North East Somerset is now in Tier 3, we must close the Roman Baths and Pump Room to protect the safety of our residents, visitors and staff. We look forward to welcoming visitors back when it is safe to do so.” 

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