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UK venue owners call for compulsory coronavirus closure order

(Image credit: Cavan Images/Getty)

UK venue owners are calling on the government to make its advice to "avoid" venues, pubs, clubs and restaurants compulsory. 

One petition currently circulating on social media says "If The Prime Minister issues a compulsory order, this will at least enable all businesses listed above to claim on insurance to mitigate some of their losses during this emergency."

To do that to an industry without any fiscal support whatsoever condemns us to death, effectively

Mark Jones, Carluccio's Restaurants CEO

Elsewhere, UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl is one of many calling for "clarity".

“Public safety remains the top priority for everyone involved in the UK music industry during this unprecedented health emergency," he says.

“However, the Prime Minister’s latest advice on mass gatherings has resulted in huge uncertainty and confusion over what exactly it will mean for the music industry.

“Unless music businesses and venues get help fast to get them though this desperately difficult period, the sad reality is the vital businesses and much loved venues will go to the wall.

“We will continue to follow and support Government advice on coronavirus and urge everyone to listen to medical and scientific advice.”

Elsewhere, as the reality of the COVID-19 lockdown sinks in, business leaders and politicians are calling for a massive programme of government support for businesses, employees and the self-employed, from bridging loans to mortgage holidays and extended and enhanced sick pay.

On BBC Radios 4's influential Today programme, restaurant chain Carluccio's CEO Mark Jones called on UK chancellor Rishi Sunak to provide “immediate” help for the entertainment and hospitality industries. 

Echoing the sentiments of many venue and business owners, he said “We understand the role we have to play in public health, so I won’t question the government’s advice on that. 

"But to do that to an industry without any fiscal support whatsoever condemns us to death, effectively.”