Last night, Boris Johnson announced new travel and face mask rules in response to two cases of the omicron variant being identified in the UK. The PM said that, from tomorrow, people must wear masks in shops and on public transport. This morning, we sought the views of small business owners around the UK.
8 responses from the Newspage community
"I think the reintroduction of travel and face mask rules is the right decision. For once, the Government is acting relatively early, so maybe it is learning at least some lessons from the past 20 months. I do worry about the impact this is going to have on the economy, and specifically the hospitality sector even though it remains unaffected for now. Things had just started to look optimistic, but now dark clouds are appearing on the horizon again. I agree with the reintroduction of mandatory face masks and I don't think they should have been relaxed previously but why not reintroduce social distancing and hand washing at the same time? It feels like we are at the top of the slippery slope again and I wouldn't be surprised to see another lockdown the day after Boxing Day."
"The prospect of yet another lockdown is causing me terrible stress and anxiety. I am worried that if another lockdown is introduced I won't be able to afford Christmas and my kids won't get the presents they want from Santa for the second year running. That's the reality small business owners and sole traders are facing."
"I think these measures should have been brought in before winter to be honest. There are so many small easy wins that could have been implemented to help protect people. We are far from out of the woods with Covid but once again our government is more worried about winning a popularity contest than common sense. Going into another lockdown, probably over Christmas, would be the least surprising thing that's happened in 2021."
"Personally, I feel the measures announced by the PM are a sensible move but it's now set to be a daunting few weeks for small businesses as concerns and panic about another potential lockdown start all over again."
"It’s a knee-jerk reaction in my eyes. Also, if people had continued to wear masks it would have protected shops and the people who visit them. As always, it's too late , not properly thought out and something that could have been prevented before."
"I am extremely worried about the increased uncertainty this will bring to local shops and even the hospitality sector during this critical festive trading period. Sentiment in itself can quickly translate into weaker sales for many small independents, which are already trying to cope with the debt they are carrying from previous lockdowns. Any further declines in footfall or additional restrictions without government help will tip many businesses over the edge. Whatever happens, people need to support their favourite local businesses, both online or in person. It will be more important than ever that they do exactly that if they want their high streets to survive in what was already a brutally tough climate."
"I had just got to the point of breathing a sigh of relief because I’ve managed to recover financially after being excluded from all Government support but now I’m panicking about another lockdown. If hospitality is closed or restricted again, it will have dire consequences for businesses like mine."
"They have known the dangers of this new variant for some time. Why oh why did they not stop travellers coming in from affected countries before the variant arrived here?"