Hotels and restaurants fear that new lockdown rules could destroy billions in the Christmas trade, as conservative critics of the rule of six say restrictions could be worse than the disease itself.
As of Monday, under the new lockdown rules in England, no more than six people can come together indoors or outdoors.
The hospitality industry says Boris Johnson's announcement has already been hit hard this week. Self-catering vacation homes have received thousands of cancellations, according to the Professional Association of Self-Caterers.
Yesterday, Mat Hancock was harassed by Conservative MPs about the new measures when Sir Desmond Swayne asked if government policy "had a worse effect than the disease itself".
Mr. Hancock said the new rules were "necessary for the nation's public health".
There are also warnings that the new rules could take billions away from retailers preparing for the holiday season.
Independent retail analyst Richard Hyman told The Guardian, “I think this could cut retail spending by billions. Toys and gifts are bought, of course, but I think clothing sales will hit.
“Clothing retailers need the abundance that parties and family gatherings create. That is clearly being severely restricted. & # 39;
"Thousands" of vacation rentals in self-catering homes have been canceled after the rule of six announcements on Wednesday, the self-catering trade association said
Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikins warned of a lack of bookings for Christmas parties where restaurants could close unless offices are allowed to book in groups of more than six.
NEW LOCKDOWN RULES FOR ENGLAND FROM MONDAY
- Max social gatherings SIX PEOPLE
- Applies indoors and outdoors
- Applies in private homes
- Applies in pubs and restaurants
- Does NOT apply to schools or workplaces
- Does NOT apply to weddings, funerals, team sports
- Does NOT apply if household bubbles are larger than six people
- Police are told to break up into larger groups and impose £ 100 fines, which then double to £ 3,200 for each repeat offense
He told BBC Radio 4, “For many restaurants and hotels, the bread and butter business is Christmas this time of year. If that doesn't happen, restaurants may be closed. & # 39;
Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality General Manager, feared that new rules would undo the positive effects of the Eat Out to Help Out program.
She told The Guardian, “The fear is that consumers will get nervous and feel like they can't go out after gaining momentum in August and bringing two-thirds of our workforce back from vacation. There was a very clear message not to make contacts. & # 39;
Self-catering holiday homes are also at risk after Martin Sachs, chairman of the Holiday Homes Association, spoke of a "devastating" lockdown period.
When asked what effect the rule of six could have on larger vacation homes, Sachs told MailOnline: “This will have a significant impact on a significant part of the vacation market.
"The owners of these properties cannot rent them out at the normal price, but must rent them out at the price of a property for six people."
Alistair Handyside, chairman of the Professional Association of Self-Caterers, said smaller vacation homes could be damaged but larger properties could be destroyed.
He told BBC Radio 4: “Not many people want to book six people into a property that is 25 person and rattles around. As a result, they will likely run out of bookings for the next few months.
"In the short term, this means there are no earnings and refunds, so if they refund the guests who would have come, they'll see negative sales for the next three months."
Larger vacation homes will be "no bookings," according to the government's announcement on Wednesday, Alistair Handyside says
He added: “The cancellations have started. I've only dealt with owners all day who are bleeding on bookings as they started to recover.
& # 39; This stand-alone room is the safest room for paying guests to stay in.
“These houses are properly prepared, the guests go inside, they are in their own area and do not share it with other groups like in a hotel, a bed and breakfast or a pub. This is a very safe place where they can control their own group.
"We're not sure why this limit is for self-catering, but you can still book 20 hotel rooms."
Mr Sach said the start of the lockdown was "devastating" for self-catering. Most owners are entitled to a government grant of up to £ 10,000 "not big enough" to cover losses from earlier this year.
He added: "We are still waiting to see what regulations will also be passed and we do not yet know what will happen to people who already live in vacation homes."
Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens warned restaurants could close if they don't get bookings for Christmas parties
Speaking to the nation about the number 10 this week, Boris Johnson said a spike in Covid infections last week left him no choice but to tighten lockdowns across England for the first time since March. "We have to act," he said.
He signaled that the “rule of six” for the number of people who can socialize together will continue to exist for some time.
Aside from a vaccine, he said the only other way out before Christmas would be a "moon shot" of introducing daily mass testing for everyone, but admitted that "it all has to come together".
There are now concerns that restaurants may close as they lose the important Christmas party trade.
Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikins, who runs Muse in Central London, told Radio 4, “We just opened Thursday last week and have started taking some bookings for Christmas.
“Everything looked a little bright until the announcement that just happened.
“I don't think there will be many Christmas parties.
“I can't imagine large offices that turn out to be six-person tables. It's not really fair to the others.
“Many restaurants and hotels that sell bread and butter at this time of year around Christmas time, if not, restaurants may be closed.
& # 39; It's unfair to the hospitality industry, especially this time of year.
"It's the busiest time of the year, and yet you can travel in large groups on the subway and the subway."
When asked on Wednesday whether he has given up his stated ambition to get the country back to normal by Christmas, Mr Johnson said, “Whether we will ever get things back to normal by Christmas, I am still as hopeful as I am Said previously that in many ways we might be able to get some aspects of our lives back to normal by Christmas.
“I was just talking about how you can do that. With this moonshot of daily tests, everyone gets a pregnancy test, a quick turn-around test in the morning. 15 minutes later you will know whether you are contagious or not.
“You may not know whether you are infected or not, but you do know whether you are infectious or not, and that gives you a kind of passport, the freedom to mingle with anyone else who is similarly not currently infectious impossible. & # 39;
He added: “That is what we are aiming for. That's what we drive for. Like I said … we can't be one hundred percent sure that we can deliver this in its entirety. & # 39;