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£1bn pledge for Omicron-hit businesses

Hospitality and leisure businesses in England that are being hit by a spike in COVID-19 cases will be eligible for a new £1 billion support package.

Eligible businesses will be entitled to one-off grants of up to £6,000, while local authorities will get over £100 million to support other businesses at their own discretion.

At what is often their busiest period of the year, many pubs and restaurants have experienced reduced footfall and 40-60% of their December trade.

Customer confidence has been severely dented as the Omicron variant causes COVID-19 cases to surge ahead of Christmas, according to Hospitality UK.

Shevaun Haviland, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"This additional grant funding for hospitality and leisure businesses will provide some much-needed support in the face of this increasingly difficult trading period.

"While these measures are a positive starting point, if restrictions persist or are tightened further, then we would need to see a wider support package, equal to the scale of any new measures, put in place."

Talk to us about accessing the Government's support package.