BUSINESSES bosses fear the outlook is looking bleak with Covid cases in staff causing closures.
The Pink Toothbrush in Rayleigh and Colors nightclub in Basildon will not be open tonight for New Years Eve celebrations due to staff isolating.
It comes after The Mariners Court and The Broker pubs in Leigh were also forced to shut for short periods due to cases too.
Owners of Tomassi’s in Southend High Street fear it will get worse and are very concerned about the future.
Antony Tomassi said: “I am extremely worried and do not see it getting any better and think the staffing situation will only get worse.
“We’ve lost several staff due to isolation and cannot rely on European workers now. We’ve had to shut the upstairs of our restaurant and it’s very tough for us.
“We cannot get the right staff either and I am worried about the future. But I do think it’s looking a bit brighter in terms of the vaccination and hospitalisations.
“I think it’s a positive view and Boris Johnson is going the right way.”
The Pink Toothbrush told its customers it felt it would be ‘unfair’ on staff who were still working to cope if it opened.
They will instead return for the weekend of January 7 and 8.
The venue said anyone who had booked tickets in advance would be given a refund.
Paul Thompson owner of Pebbles One Cafe on Southend seafront also raised concerns for the future of the hospitality industry.
He said: “I think the outlook is very uncertain and worrying and I feel for nightclubs and restaurants who have had it so tough.
“It is worrying for those looking expand or grow too and it’s not been good in the lead up to Christmas. I am hoping things get better but all we’ve seen so far is businesses closing and reopening.
“We need more furlough help and grants from the Government.”
Bosses at Colors in Basildon said due to a number of their staff self isolating and testing positive for Covid, they are going to be unable to open Colors on New Years Eve. They said they cant apologise enough and that they are suffering along with other businesses.