Coronavirus poses an existential bankruptcy threat to the hospitality industry according to trade body UK Hospitality.

The trade body has warned that thousands of businesses in the UK’s hospitality sector could face bankruptcy following Government advice that people should avoid visiting pubs, restaurants and bars.

UK Hospitality. says that during the first in a series of daily briefings on the crisis, Boris Johnson crucially stopped short of ordering hospitality firms to close to the public, meaning many businesses may be unable to claim for insurance and will struggle to drum up the cash to pay staff.

Commenting on the Government’s latest advice that people should avoid pubs, restaurants, hotels, theatres and other hospitality and leisure businesses, Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UK Hospitality, said “This is catastrophic for businesses and jobs. The government has effectively shut the hospitality industry without any support, and this announcement will lead to thousands of businesses closing their doors for good, and hundreds of thousands of job losses.”

“Over the past few weeks the industry has suffered unprecedented drops in visits and many businesses are already on their knees. This latest advice leaves the industry in limbo, with no recourse to insurance.

“The Government must act now to stop them from going under and protect people’s jobs. These venues play a unique role as community hubs and it’s in all our interests to protect and preserve them so they are still there once we emerge from this crisis.”

“We need immediate and far-reaching support from the government, and meaningful business continuity measures.”