Politics must not be allowed to get in the way of helping businesses battered by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The plea came from UKHospitality amid the row over Greater Manchester being placed under tier 3 Covid restrictions with the likelihood of South Yorksire following suit.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “This is another huge blow for our sector and a very bitter disappointment for hospitality businesses in Manchester.

“These businesses are either operating under extreme restrictions or closed altogether and this will only increase the pressure.

“We need a practical and workable package of support for the whole of Manchester’s hospitality sector in order to keep these businesses afloat and jobs alive. Jobs, once lost, are not always easily revived and businesses closed not easily reopened.

“Furthermore, there must be a clear roadmap out of tier 3 – a clear set of criteria of what must be achieved to lower the alert level, and what support will be there upon lowering it, so that businesses can do all the planning possible to stay afloat.”

She added: “Job support for those businesses currently in tier 2 must also be much more comprehensive, to help businesses survive and to cushion the transition out of tier 3.

“The funds already invested to save firms and jobs must not be wasted. There is talk of and accusations that the situation in Manchester had become politicised. It is vital that such an approach is not taken – politics cannot get in the way of addressing the plight of battered businesses and their hardworking staff.”