Responding to the Government’s roadmap delays, Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Managing Director Martin Hathaway said:

“The announcement of delays to the Government’s roadmap is disappointing, especially for those industries that have remained closed throughout.

“Firms have fought incredibly hard to keep their businesses alive during this difficult period and many will be disheartened by this latest announcement.

“The majority of businesses impacted by this latest decision have had to remain closed for many months now.

“Those in the hospitality and entertainment industries – the economic heartbeat of many Yorkshire towns and cities – will have to once more prepare to adjust their recovery plans and strategy for maintaining employment.

“The Government must ensure these firms are able to continue to access appropriate financial support and delay the tapering of furlough repayments, which is planned for the start of July.

“Failure to continue supporting these businesses financially means that we may face the sad reality of firms being forced to permanently close their doors.

“While this is a setback, we must commend the work being done to roll out vaccines across the nation.

“We hope that speedy progress will allow us to get back on track as soon as possible.”