Chief executive of UKHospitality said that pubs and restaurants could see thousands of layoffs by the end of 2020 as a result of recent coronavirus restrictions and curfews.

A woman walks out of an underground tube station in the City of London financial district on March 9, 2020.
A woman walks out of an underground tube station in the City of London financial district on March 9, 2020. (Reuters)

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, has told a cross-party panel of MPs that a recent survey showed "the anticipated number of additional redundancies by the end of the year was 560,000".

Britain's hospitality sector will shed more than 560,000 jobs this year as the coronavirus pandemic kills trade in bars, hotels, nightclubs, pubs and restaurants, its boss warned Tuesday.

She added: "We anticipate that number will be far higher now as the result of the local restrictions" and nationwide measures to tackle rising cases of Covid-19 in the UK.

READ MORE: UK economy shrinks by record 20 percent in second quarter amid pandemic

Nicholls warned of "large numbers" of additional job losses from next month when the government waters down its jobs support scheme that has helped keep millions of people in employment during the pandemic.

She said that 900,000 people are on the state's furlough scheme paying the bulk of individual's wages, a support system set to be heavily reduced from November.

"There is a very real danger that we will lose large chunks of the economy," said Nicholls.

"In hospitality ... that engine of growth for re-employing people will be lost for good," she added.

Although pubs have reopened following lockdown earlier in the year, the government has forced them to close by 10:00 pm each night, while nightclubs remain shut.

Britain has suffered the worst death toll in Europe from the virus outbreak, with more than 42,000 confirmed deaths. 

READ MORE: UK retail rebounds as online demand sees rise

Rebound begins

While officially in recession, the UK economy is beginning to rebound as the government eases strict confinement measures.

ONS calculated that GDP grew by 8.7 percent in June as the economy slowly emerged from the lockdown implemented in late March.

That helped the pound to limit losses on Wednesday, while London's stock market was up 1.3 percent in afternoon trading.

"The economy began to bounce back in June, with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and house-building continuing to recover," noted Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS.

"Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck."

READ MORE: British economy on track for biggest contraction 'in living memory'

Rising unemployment

To help the economy recover, the Bank of England is pumping out hundreds of billions of pounds in cash stimulus and has slashed its main interest rate to a record-low 0.1 percent.

"The substantial fiscal and monetary stimulus that has been enacted should provide ongoing support to the economy," EY economist Howard Archer said.

"Although the economy is expected to achieve appreciable growth in the third quarter ... the rate of expansion will slow in the fourth quarter as unemployment rises following" the end of the furlough scheme.

Around 730,000 workers have been removed from the British payrolls since March.

Source: AFP