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Covid roadmap: Boris Johnson urged to help London back on its feet

Covid roadmap: Boris Johnson urged to help London back on its feet


esperate enterprise leaders right now accused Boris Johnson of ignoring a “clear and current hazard” to shattered metropolis centres after he predicted they might “bounce again” when the pandemic is over.

Struggling sectors from pubs and eating places to theatres and journey stated that there was a threat of nice cities like London, Manchester and Birmingham being left hollowed out by the disaster.

From politicians, together with former Tory Cupboard minister Justine Greening, there have been warnings that metropolis centres shouldn’t be “taken without any consideration”.

Kate Nicholls, chief government of UK Hospitality, known as for a plan to restore all the good cities and warned: “With out this there’s a actual and current hazard that London’s Central Exercise Zone might be hollowed out and our financial and social capital diminished. London and our main cities is not going to merely bounce again.”

Mr Johnson has rejected pessimism and predicted: “I feel that our nice cities will bounce again together with the remainder of the economic system as soon as we’ve received this roadmap delivered.”

It got here as Mr Johnson stated Cupboard minister Michael Gove would chair a assessment into the introduction of “vaccine passports” as a part of plans for the phased reopening of society. The Commonplace has beforehand highlighted that the passports have been set to be introduced in regardless of quite a lot of senior ministers dismissing the thought.

Boris Johnson visiting a faculty in south east London

/ POOL/AFP through Getty Photos

  • London restaurateurs spoke of their frustration at having to attend one other three months to reopen their eating rooms, with some fearing a brand new spherical of failures as a result of they weren’t in a position to safe assist from banks to assist tide them via.
  • Theatregoers have been warned that many West Finish phases could not reopen till months after the Might 17 date introduced by the Prime Minister.
  • Wedding ceremony planners stated some {couples} could be disenchanted and must cancel their ceremonies as a result of restrictions is not going to be absolutely lifted till June 21.
  • Matt Hancock stated hugs might be allowed from Might 17 – which means grandparents can embrace their households once more.
  • Britons scrambled to ebook breaks within the solar though a Authorities scientific adviser warned “the entire scenario might be very unsure for a very long time”.
  • Cupboard minister Jacob Rees-Mogg advised the Authorities had “flexibility” to hurry up the easing of lockdown. However infections skilled Professor Neil Ferguson stated it was “a faint probability that we are able to speed up the schedule”.

The Prime Minister was placed on the spot about the way forward for metropolis centres by the Night Commonplace throughout final evening’s press briefing at No10.

Mr Johnson stated he thought the pandemic would “speed up some traits” and “alternatives” to show some workplace blocks into residential properties.

However he stated his expertise was that distant working generated demand for folks to fulfill up in individual and concluded: “I feel that London, our nice cities, might be stuffed, filled with buzz and life and pleasure once more, supplied folks believe about coming again into these metropolis centres. Then you definitely’ll get all of the agglomeration results that make London such a tremendous place and make our cities so wonderful.”

There was much less optimism from companies on the frontline. Hospitality chief Ms Nicholls stated: “The Authorities’s personal roadmap… singles out hospitality and the centre of London as the toughest hit. On condition that make money working from home, social distancing and continued curbs on international journey will proceed for a lot of, many months there’s now an pressing want for a transparent, long-term strategic plan for the city restoration and renewal.”

We want a marketing campaign that strikes in lockstep with ending lockdown to promote the sizzle of our metropolis

Former transport secretary Ms Greening stated cities could not get better with out Authorities assist. “Covid-19 has made levelling up much more of a nationwide problem,” she stated. “London’s tourism, retail and hospitality sectors have been vastly broken and disrupted.

“London’s success is intrinsically related to the success of the broader UK and it’s important our capital metropolis’s fortunes aren’t taken without any consideration.”

John Dickie, director of coverage at London First stated: “The Prime Minister is correct to be characteristically bullish about London’s future. However the UK wants central London’s economic system again as quickly as potential.


“Central London has been hit laborious, dropping extra jobs than any UK area and seeing footfall collapse. That’s why we want continued assist for these companies that may’t commerce correctly, funding for our transport community and motion to re-skill Londoners. And above all we want a marketing campaign that strikes in lockstep with ending lockdown to promote the sizzle of our metropolis and get folks again.”

Many hospitality companies say they’re being pushed to the wall by banks refusing to increase overdraft services at a time they don’t have any earnings.

Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Luisa Porritt stated: “The Prime Minister has his head within the sand if he doesn’t consider the home-working revolution will change the best way London works. Companies I communicate to suppose the day by day commute is useless.”

She stated creating new properties in London’s centre “is a strategy to breathe new life into it” as demand for central workplace area diminishes.

Mr Johnson has tasked Mr Gove with main a assessment into the potential use of vaccine passports. Talking at a faculty in south London, the Prime Minister advised reporters: “That is an space the place we’re a novelty for our nation, we haven’t had stuff like this earlier than, we’ve by no means thought when it comes to having one thing that you need to present to go to a pub or a theatre.

“There are deep and complicated points that we have to discover, and moral points about what the position is for Authorities in mandating… We will’t be discriminatory towards individuals who for no matter purpose can’t have the vaccine. There could be medical causes.”