HOSPITALITY businesses are experiencing a "de facto lockdown" and need Government support, a York MP has said.

Julian Sturdy said he had had "worrying reports" of "significant drops" in the number of people using restaurants, pubs and bars in the city since a week ago.

Read more: Reports suggest post-Christmas lockdown as Omicron continues to spread

"With mixed messaging from the Government, I want to be clear that the impact experienced by our hospitality businesses is a de facto lockdown but without any additional support," said the Conservative York Outer MP.

"The Government have caused this and I want them to put out a clear message to fix it as soon as possible".

" I know that our pubs, restaurants and bars have struck a sensible balance which protects both staff and customers while allowing for viable trade."

He said the hospitality sector needed all the support it could get over Christmas.

" I want to see an end to Whitehall leaks of plans for a trade crippling lockdown, which only damages confidence by spreading fear," he said, and called for "conclusive evidence" on the effects of the Omicron variant before any more changes.

"I could not back any moves that will decimate the hospitality sector on limited statistics," he said.

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