Events businesses fear for their future as restrictions tighten

From tomorrow the number of people allowed to attend controlled gatherings will be halved from 40 to 20. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Jersey events businesses are fearing for their financial future, as new restrictions on gatherings come into effect.From tomorrow the number of people allowed to attend controlled gatherings, that is events run by a business or organisation with a risk assessment in place, will be halved from 40 to 20. Informal, private indoor events will be capped at ten people.Four weddings scheduled for this weekend have been given special dispensation to go ahead with up to 40 guests.For marquee company, Marquee Solutions, one of those weddings marks their last marquee of the season.

It was bad enough really when the numbers were at 40, the average wedding is in the region of 120, so scaling it down to 40 wasn't for everybody, and the majority of people who'd planned to get married this year have postponed to next year. People who've persevered have obviously had to reduce their numbers drastically. To try and reduce numbers again from 40 to 20 makes it impractical really.

John Neal, Marquee Solutions

The industry is still awaiting details of the rescue package for events and attractions, promised at a press conference last Friday.Tony Sargeant runs a catering business and says the latest restrictions on gatherings have decimated his Christmas bookings, and that next few months are absolutely critical.

I think we're all on tenterhooks, this is a very lean time for us, we've had to let another member of staff go because of all the bookings cancelling so we're down to just one full time member of staff, it's the fear of the unknown, what little bookings that we had for the Christmas period have virtually all gone. So the future for the next four or five months is very scary.

Tony Sargeant, Jersey Kitchen

Government officials say details on the rescue package for events and attractions, are still being worked on, yet for those who need it, the support can not come soon enough.

It's sleepless nights isn't it, you know, we've got 11 staff in total and the wellbeing of those people, they in turn, half of the people have been with us for ten years or more, they've got families, they've got mortgages just like everybody else, it's very difficult.

John Neal, Marquee Solutions

Bars and restaurants will have to stop serving alcohol by 10pm, with guests vacating the premises by 10.30pm. The same rule applies for hotel guests.Off licences will not be able to sell alcohol after 10pm either.