Coronavirus: How it's affecting business in the West

Theatres, pubs and other businesses across the West Country have closed with immediate effect following the Government's advice for people to avoid unnecessary social contact to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Bus operator First has announced it's going to run a 'Saturday' service during the week as bus passenger numbers continue to reduce with more people choosing to stay at home.

The company say it must change to ensure services continue running and are as close to ‘business as usual’ as possible.

We are looking to reduce our Monday to Friday services to a Saturday timetable. This will mean that about 10% of our fleet will be stood down.

James Freeman, Managing Director of First West of England

Pubs and restaurant owners are calling for immediate action to support theindustry financially after Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised people not to go out but stopped short of ordering entertainment venues to close.

The Prime Minister on March 16 urged people to avoid unnecessary social contact, whilst avoiding pubs, bars, clubs and theatres.

Those considered high-risk will soon be asked to stay home for a period of up to three months to prevent them catching Covid-19.

  • What theatres are closing in the west country?

The British Beer and Pub Association has written to Mr Johnson, demanding urgent steps are taken to prevent mass job losses and permanent pub closures.

Thousands of pubs and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost in the very short term unless a proactive package creating cash and liquidity is provided immediately to the industry.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive, British Beer and Pub Association

At a press conference on March 16, asked whether pubs, restaurants and theatres were being ordered to close, Mr Johnson said: "What we are doing is giving very strong advice that public venues such as theatres should no longer be visited."

  • Will my insurance cover me?

The insurance industry trade body has said the vast majority of businesses in the UK will be unable to make a claim if they are forced to close their doors due to coronavirus.

Restaurants and bars have warned that, without financial support, mass unemployment and businesses collapsing will follow after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call to avoid mass gatherings and venues.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) confirmed payouts will not happenwithout an "enforced closure" notice, but said this was irrelevant for the vast majority of businesses because they are unlikely to have purchased coverproviding for an infectious disease.