TOURISM bosses fear any further lockdown would be a huge blow for the hospitality industry in Essex.

It comes as Essex County Council pushed for the county to be put on high alert as a preventative strike against Covid-19.

Mr Johnson told the House of Commons yesterday areas of England will be ordered into three tiers of medium, high and very high alert levels.

And while Essex is currently in the lowest bracket, the county council will ask for permission to go into the next tier, meaning increased restrictions such as a ban on households mixing indoors.

Clacton Pier director Billy Ball said it has already been an extremely challenging year for all those in the sector.

“Due to the initial lockdown and various restrictions, income has taken a real hit and some in the industry are already literally clinging on by their fingertips,” he said.

“Any further lockdown would be a huge blow for those businesses and it would have a significant impact on the pier.

“While some attractions are not open in the winter, our business is 52-weeks a year and we have an exciting Halloween Festival coming up for half term.

“It is an opportunity for us to generate some lost money and we hope those plans will not be disrupted.

“If they are, it would obviously have an knock-on effect on the jobs we would have available over this period and going forwards.”

Mr Ball added that he fully appreciated the difficult decisions the Government has to make in battling Covid-19 and people’s health and well-being must be prioritised.

“However, each subsequent lockdown – wherever it happens – cannot be taken on the chin without genuine grants and support,” he said.

“Any further lockdown will threaten the viability of companies in our industry, including Clacton Pier and that is a simple economic fact.”

“There are only so many financial blows firms can continue to suffer.”