Coronavirus UK: Entrepreneurs warn future of nation is under threat

The horrifying cost of Boris Johnson’s six-month Covid clampdown was dramatically laid bare last night.

Business chiefs and hospitality groups issued a string of dire warnings over the impact of the restrictions, saying millions of jobs were now on the line.

They said the Prime Minister’s U-turn on his ‘get back to work’ message could spell doom for struggling high streets, with footfall plummeting and shops boarded up.

In a passionate intervention, a prominent entrepreneur said the prosperity of the nation was at stake. 

In a passionate intervention to Boris Johnson¿s six-month Covid clampdown, Julian Metcalfe, who founded Pret A Manger and Itsu, says the prosperity of the nation is now at stake

In a passionate intervention to Boris Johnson’s six-month Covid clampdown, Julian Metcalfe, who founded Pret A Manger and Itsu, says the prosperity of the nation is now at stake

Julian Metcalfe, who founded Pret A Manger and Itsu, said: ‘The repercussions of this six months are going to be devastating to so many, to local councils, to industry, to people all over our country.

‘We have not begun to touch the seriousness of this. This talk of six months is criminal.’

Despite ballooning national debt, Rishi Sunak is preparing a multi-billion-pound ‘winter economy plan’ to try to protect jobs.

The Chancellor signalled the true extent of the crisis by cancelling plans for a full-scale Budget in November. Sources said he accepted the country could no longer make long-term financial decisions.

Despite ballooning national debt, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is preparing a multi-billion-pound ¿winter economy plan¿ to try to protect jobs

Despite ballooning national debt, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is preparing a multi-billion-pound ‘winter economy plan’ to try to protect jobs

As the Archbishops of Canterbury and York warned of the economic costs of Covid:

Hospitality groups said a quarter of pubs and restaurants could go bust this year; HMRC and Goldman Sachs were among employers abandoning their drives to get people back to the office; Pictures showed high streets boarded up as shops reacted to the clampdown; The travel industry faced fresh despair when Downing Street warned of the risk of booking half-term holidays; Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza are keeping two thirds of outlets shut; A major study warned countless patients were living with worsening heart disease, diabetes and mental health because of the lockdown; MPs demanded extra help for theatre and music venues; No 10 said a ban on household visits could be extended across large swathes of England; A mobile tracing app is finally being rolled out today – four months late; Matt Hancock’s target for half a million virus tests a day by the end of next month was under threat from equipment shortages; Scientific advisers suggested that students could be told

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