Tuesday 22 September 2020 3:09 pm

Sadiq Khan calls for emergency business support as London restrictions loom

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called on the Prime Minister to introduce emergency financial support for businesses affected by the new 10pm curfew and warned that extra restrictions lay on the horizon for the capital.

Khan said he has had “constructive” conversations with Boris Johnson today about the new 10pm curfew for hospitality and leisure venues, which is set to come into force on Thursday and could last for six months.

Read more: Sadiq Khan warns of ‘new restrictions’ for London

However, he warned that “the need for extra financial support for these businesses has never been more urgent”.

“It is essential that the government now come forward within days with a targeted package of financial support for the retail, hospitality and cultural sectors who will be hit hardest by further restrictions, alongside an immediate targeted extension of the furlough scheme”, he said.  

The furlough scheme, which has handed out 80 per cent of wages to employees unable to work during the pandemic, is set to wind down at the end of October. 

Top industry figures, including UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, have called for an immediate extension of the scheme to avoid mass redundancies.

Read more: Business groups call for further support as UK tightens restrictions

London

Khan added that he has made clear to the PM that London “has unique needs and challenges”, and said additional measures now need to be considered for the capital.

“Londoners have made monumental sacrifices during this pandemic and as I have further meetings with ministers and council leaders in the coming days I will continue to keep Londoners informed about the extra measures that may need to be implemented.”

Read more: Second local lockdown could cost London more than £2bn

Johnson today urged people in England to work at home where possible, and announced a £200 on-the-spot fine for those who fail to comply with mandatory face mask rules.

He added that the UK now stands at a “perilous turning point”, and warned that the police will now have the “option to draw on military support where required”.

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