Coronavirus: Hospitality industry pleading for Government assistance as business plummets

Despite the relaxation of strict lockdown conditions the hospitality sector is still reporting big losses, the effects of which will last well beyond a year, says an industry expert. 

Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa Bidois says the industry needs more help from the Government if it's going to continue.

"The reopening of takeaways at Alert Level 3 was a step in the right direction but was never going to be a silver bullet," she said in a statement on Wednesday.

A survey of Restaurant Association members revealed that 89 percent of them have experienced a downturn in business and 75 percent will need to reduce their staff in the next 30 days just to stay afloat. 

Bidois says the Government needs to step in and provide more financial support as well as a "code of conduct" for landlords. 

"The wage subsidy was a good start, but it will be meaningless if businesses can’t survive." 

Even when the country drops to Alert Level 2 it will not bring the help the sector needs.

"Consumer confidence is still expected to be low and combined with the losses the industry has been carrying since the drop in tourism numbers in February we do expect the ramifications of this to last well beyond a year," said Bidois.

Extra financial support from the Government has not been ruled out with the Budget day approaching in just over a week - but until then businesses will have to hold tight and hope.