The UK government issued 1,000 million pounds (about $1,320 million) in aid to the companies most affected by the consequences of the omicron variant coronavirus, after weeks of pressure from representatives of the sector.
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“People are becoming increasingly careful in their daily lives how they feel in our hospitality and restaurant, entertainment and cultural sectors during the busiest period of the year,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
Finance Minister Rishi Sunak indicated around 200,000 companies would be able to apply for assistance to mitigate the decline in revenue during the holiday season., a key period of the year for business.
Despite a wild spike in cases, the Johnson administration ruled out direct restrictions before Christmas.
But omicron’s advances hit bars and restaurants hard with many year-end party cancellations costing 60% of businesses in December.
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Sunak said the government acknowledged that businesses in the leisure sector faced “a period of high uncertainty.”
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