Alice Woodhouse in Hong Kong

Boris Johnson on Monday night ordered the rapid closure of all main and secondary colleges till mid-February and instructed individuals to not depart their properties aside from particular functions, corresponding to for important work.

The announcement piled strain on the nation’s already fragile economic system, drawing requires additional authorities assist for enterprise.

Right here’s how business teams responded to the measures:


“Retailers need to commerce their option to restoration but when they’re compelled to shut then additional monetary assist will probably be wanted or many companies will go bust and hundreds of viable jobs will probably be misplaced,” mentioned Helen Dickinson, chief govt of the British Retail Consortium.

Retailers in England may lose £2bn every week in gross sales because of the lockdown, BRC estimates. Ms Dickinson mentioned 178,000 retail jobs had been misplaced in 2020 and 250,000 staff had been at the moment on furlough.


Foyer group Marketing campaign for Pubs referred to as for a assist bundle for pubs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire following months of pandemic-related closures.

“With out pressing, sufficient assist, many pubs, together with pubs which have survived for hundreds of years and two world wars, will probably be misplaced – and lots of households reliant on pubs and hospitality face hardship and homelessness,” the group mentioned.


Some sectors mentioned it could be enterprise as regular. The property business mentioned homebuyers will nonetheless have the ability to profit from the stamp responsibility vacation because the business will proceed to function through the lockdown.

“The newest information of one other nationwide lockdown ought to do little to sluggish the momentum of the UK property market on condition that official authorities recommendation nonetheless deems it alright to transact and transfer dwelling,” mentioned Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves.


The medical neighborhood welcomed the lockdown. The British Medical Affiliation mentioned it supported the measures as hospitals are stretched to “breaking level” even earlier than an anticipated surge on account of households mixing over Christmas.

“Medical doctors are determined, with some even evaluating their working surroundings to a warzone as wards overflow, ready lists develop, and ambulances queue exterior hospitals as a result of there are actually so many individuals with Covid-19,” mentioned Chaand Nagpaul, BMA chair.

Dr Nagpaul referred to as for the vaccination of healthcare staff to be boosted to allow them to proceed to take care of sufferers.

Faculty workers

The GMB Union, which represents college assist workers, mentioned Mr Johnson’s U-turn on college closures was embarrassing and got here after strain from colleges.

“Nobody needs to disrupt any little one’s studying, however this obligatory measure would have already got been taken days in the past if this authorities had an oz. of competence, or respect both for the science or these working in colleges,” mentioned Rehana Azam, GMB nationwide secretary.