The co-owner of Millington Travel has called for more government support after being forced to delay the opening of three stores in Leicester following the fresh outbreak in the city.

Nigel Armitage said the local lockdown imposed this week following a rise of Covid-19 cases was a “huge disappointment and massive frustration”.

Millington Travel, which operates 14 branches across the Midlands and employs 85 staff, had hoped to reopen its three Leicester city centre stores this weekend. These openings will now be postponed for at least another two weeks.

Armitage said the lockdown had also impacted staffing at Millington’s other stores because many employees live in Leicester and were being forced to lock down.

He said: “It is a massive challenge, and there is an urgent need for more business support from government and the local city council.

“The government has pretty much ignored the travel and tourism sector. Yes, they have certainly helped with the furlough scheme and small business grants, but these need to be extended for our sector to survive this pandemic.

“I don’t think anyone in government truly understands how bad this all is for the travel and tourism industry.”

Armitage said extra funding was needed for all local businesses affected by the lockdown in Leicester.

Speaking ahead of the government’s announcement that quarantine measures will be relaxed from July 10, but in anticipation of such an announcement, the agency chain plans to go ahead with the reopening of eight of its shops this Saturday, July 4.

Its remaining six shops, including its Leicester stores, are due to open in the “next few weeks”.