UK prime minister Boris Johnson officially announced yesterday that parts of the nation’s hospitality industry, including accommodation, restaurants and pubs, will be allowed to reopen from 4 July, but exhibition centres and conference venues must remain closed. The news has prompted the meetings and events industry to call for clarity on when business meetings might be allowed to go ahead.
While the hospitality industry has welcomed a reduction in social distancing guidelines from 2m to “1m-plus”, Lex Butler, chair of the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA), said: “Covid-19 and lockdown have been a hammer blow to business events, meetings and accommodation agencies, venues and suppliers – for the whole sector. By reducing social distancing to 1m-plus and providing guidelines, the government has wrapped the hammer in plastic.
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