As Jersey awaits details of an exit strategy, simply having a time frame to work towards will be vital for helping hospitality get back on its feet, says Simon Soar of the JHA.
‘We want hospitality to be open for business as soon as possible, and our industry is not the only one desperate to get back to work. The quicker we can get businesses up and running again, the better it’ll be for owners, and for Jersey’s economy.
‘While it has been necessary to shut down large parts of society, it’s obviously not a sustainable strategy. People need to get back to work, children need to go back school, and the social and economic damage caused by a prolonged lockdown would be catastrophic.
‘But – and I can’t stress this enough – we want it done in a careful, considered way that prioritises public health and the safety of workers.
‘While Jersey’s government has yet to announce an exit strategy – a way of lifting the restrictions and getting back to normal, whatever that new normal might be – it was encouraging to read that the UK government has reportedly made progress on the issue.
‘According to the news, the UK is looking at a traffic light system, although the government has dismissed this as rumour. But if true, the strategy will allow the country to ease back to normal in three phases, starting in three week. Under the plan, small, low-risk businesses will reopen first and eventually school closures will be lifted, with bars and restaurants to follow later.
‘Hearing that the UK might have a plan in place gives Jersey’s hospitality hope that the island won’t be far behind, and that we’ll soon have a date that we can all work towards. Businesses need a fixed end date to plan for. Endless speculation doesn’t help any of us.
‘Jersey’s government is working on a strategy and though we don’t yet know details, having a strategy in place and a time frame to work towards will be invaluable for helping our industry get back on its feet.’