The government must step in and act as “insurer of last resort” for the leisure sector, business advisory firm BDO has warned – or risk millions of jobs.
BDO said the government’s move to escalate measures to guard against the spread of the coronavirus, which includes advising people not to frequent pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and theatres, would result in the leisure sector facing “unprecedented difficulties” in the weeks ahead.
According to BDO, the sector employs around 2.6 million people – 9% of the UK workforce.
“The leisure sector, which has many world leading companies in industries such as restaurants and travel, is already suffering a desperate cash crunch as bookings fall and the UK population cuts down its social activity,” said BDO.
“Leisure is a vital industry for UK jobs and prosperity, and will be the first industry to be hard hit by the pandemic.”