Experts across the hospitality industry have praised the government's promise to support businesses during the coronavirus crisis.

It follows the Prime Minister's announcement on Friday that all pubs, bars, restaurants, cinemas, gyms and leisure facilities must shut their doors to stop the virus spreading.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that government grants would cover 80 per cent of staff salaries for those who are kept on by their employer but are unable to work.  

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: "This generous package will support our fantastic staff, is very welcome and additionally gives hope to those who have been laid off. This may have saved up to 1 million jobs, but we need it as soon as possible to ensure we can continue to trade.

"While VAT deferrals preserve some cash, we still face rent payments next week before the support is due to arrive. Banks and landlords need to do more to help us bridge the gap towards this generous government support.

"Damage is being done now, so we need help now."

And CAMRA's National Chairman, Nik Antona said: "Whilst the pubs industry will be devastated by the decision to force closure, it is exactly the type of decisive leadership that has been called for this week as many pubs hung in limbo.

"Pubs and the wider hospitality industry now have clear instruction that closing their doors is the right thing to do and the confidence that the government will support their staff and their business.

"This decision will ensure that they can emerge from this crisis in the best position to rebuild their businesses and continue to offer their vital community service to their customers.

"We're concerned that there seemed to be no mention of the British independent brewing industry in the statements - this is a vital industry that needs to be protected and supported if they are to continue to contribute so much to their local and the national economies.

"The government needs to take further measures to support and protect this important industry by also deferring beer duty.

"We welcome the news that pubs and breweries offering take away services will be allowed to remain open and will be promoting these innovative initiatives across the country on CAMRA's #pullingtogether platform.

"We'd like the government to immediately relax licensing laws to make it easier for pubs to offer take away drinks as well as food."