Feb 23, 2021

Covid-19: Businesses 'throwing in towel' over uncertainty

Announcing the strategy for removing England's Covid restrictions on Monday, the prime minister said non-essential shops, hairdressers, gyms, outdoor hospitality and self-contained holiday accommodation could reopen on 12 April. She added: "Businesses have been put through an enormous amount of uncertainty. They should now know that the business rates holiday will continue, that the VAT reduction for hospitality business will continue." VAT rises from 5% to 20%, furloughing ends and business rates start being payable in April. Under current government measures, the VAT rate for hospitality and tourism has been cut from 20% to 5% until 31 March. The business rates holiday for leisure, hospitality and retail firms is due to end at the same time.

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