The impact of the coronavirus on UK nightlife is set to be investigated by MPs and their peers after more than 10 months of social restrictions due to the pandemic.
The introduction of animal and lockdown rules has hit the hospitality industry hardest, accounting for a third of the 800,000 job losses since the epidemic began, according to the Bureau of National Statistics.
Now the newly formed all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for the night economy is conducting an investigation into the effects of the virus on nightlife on the main street.
The group is seeking evidence from businesses, employees, professionals and consumers of the night economy to provide a platform for them to share their views on the challenges facing the sector, its importance to UK society and the economy.
Ideas are also being sought on how to safely re-open nightlife once the final lockdown, designed to halt the spread of the disease, is over.
Labor MP Jeff Smith, chairman of the APPG, said: “As we move towards a third national lockdown, there has never been a more important time for the government to address the urgent needs of night economy businesses, their supply chains and those who do do this, come in. Rely on them for employment.
“While we play such an important role in our local communities and the UK economy, nightlife has repeatedly been overlooked by the government and we are determined to ensure that the specific challenges facing the sector are addressed.
“This investigation will be an important first step in our work.”
The consultations will take place throughout January. The report is due to be published in February.
Proof of the request can be submitted via an online survey found online here.
APPGs are different from government, and the reports they publish do not carry the same weight as those produced by selected committees.
A government spokesman said: “We recognize the extremely challenging circumstances that businesses face in the night economy, but these restrictions are necessary to protect the NHS and save lives.
“We launched one of the most comprehensive and generous business support packages worldwide valued at £ 280 billion.
“This includes the extended vacation system, business rate vacation, various loan programs, and VAT deferral.
“We recently announced a one-time grant of up to £ 9,000 for hospitality businesses on top of £ 3,000 per month grants for businesses that are closing down.”