UK entry restrictions have left the UK hospitality sector with a dire shortage of staff, according to the industry association UKHospitality.
It said its analysis revealed there was a shortage of 188,000 workers, from chefs to bar staff to housekeepers and managers.
UKHospitality said many foreign workers who returned home during the pandemic had blamed the UK’s entry restrictions for their failure to return.
Nearly a fifth said the cost of quarantine on return was preventing them from coming back. Those returning from red list countries would have to pay £1,750 per person to quarantine for 10 days in a Government-approved hotel.
UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said the Government must restore confidence in the hospitality sector said that it can be seen again as ‘a stable employer and provider of fulfilling careers’.
“To facilitate this, it must stick to the re-opening roadmap, lifting all restrictions from 21June,” she said.
“This will restore consumer confidence and give a strong signal to workers that hospitality will bounce back strongly. Beyond this, the single biggest act of support that Government could give would be to encourage more UK-based workers to join the hospitality sector.
“It is also time for the Government to review its list of shortage occupations and consider the introduction of an Australian-style visa scheme to enable the workers we need, who don’t meet the point-based system, to come and work here.
“The hospitality industry has invested heavily to ensure venues are safe places to visit and work. By lifting restrictions on the 21 June and with support, we can get back to what we do best – and power the engine of our economic and social recovery.”