Prince William warned yesterday of a ‘mental health catastrophe’ if lockdowns prevent people from socializing.
His comments came during a video call with business leaders in Liverpool, the first region in England to come under the toughest level three restrictions.
They discussed the city’s hospitality sector, which has been ravaged by draconian Covid-19 restrictions.
Entrepreneur Natalie Haywood said: “He was very focused on the wellness side of things and spoke about the mental health catastrophe Britain will have to face if people are not allowed to experience the social aspects of life. their life. “
A royal aide added: “The mental health of the nation is always a priority. And it will only be in the months to come that we will see how much that is affected by what is going on.
The Duke of Cambridge was congratulated on a video call with two business owners facing Covid-19 level three restrictions today. Pictured (top left) Natalie Haywood and DJ and producer Yousef, both from Liverpool
During a video call with entrepreneurs, the royal discussed the challenges the hospitality industry faces.
It happened as around 300 workers, from bosses to event planners, protested outside parliament demanding additional financial support.
Hopes of a Main Street revival have been dashed by a drop in the number of buyers and ad followers following new lockdowns and curfews. Attendance across the country fell 3.1% last week.
Prince William spoke to Liverpool boss Natalie Haywood and nightclub DJ Yousef yesterday.
Miss Haywood, who has already been forced to make 40 layoffs with her staff of 200, said: “William was extremely empathetic about our situation and really wanted to listen to what was really going on on the ground.
“He was very focused on the well-being of things and spoke about the mental health catastrophe that Britain will face if people are not allowed to live the social aspects of their lives.
“Yousef told him that music, socializing, and being with friends were absolutely essential in managing people’s mental health and William was totally okay with that. “
Businesses forced to close in Tier 3 areas can use the new employment support program, which will pay two-thirds of the wages of staff unable to work.
But the financial support is much lower at level two.
Miss Haywood said: ‘William agreed that we wouldn’t really see the true effects of the virus for many months, but was encouraged that companies are coming together trying to help each other.
“The problem for a lot of businesses is being choked with being level two and people not being safe or able to go out and socialize, but they are told to stay open without support – that will absolutely be. catastrophic. “
William, pictured earlier this month, joined the call to discuss “the challenges they have faced” due to the harsh restrictions their regions have been subjected to.
In a video for Liverpool City Council on Friday, Natalie (pictured) explained how vital the emergency fund was to hundreds of businesses and jobs across the city.
A royal aide said the issue of mental health was “always at the forefront” on William and Kate’s mind.
Asked what prompted William’s call, they explained, “It’s clear that different parts of the country are feeling the effects in different ways.
“The Duke spent a lot of time talking and where he could, meeting communities across the country that have been affected. The mental health of the nation is always a priority. And it will only be in the months to come that we will see how much that is affected by what is going on.
Retail industry leaders are warning of a total of 255,000 job cuts by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the hospitality industry has raised the grim prospect of 750,000 job losses in pubs, restaurants and hotels by February of next year.
Shopping trips and visits to bars or restaurants are down by about a third a year ago and the situation is particularly bad in cities.
Renowned restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi, who was at the Westminster protest, said: “I don’t think hospitality turned out to have spread the crown. If so, shut us all up and give us time off again, otherwise you’re killing some really good companies.
The controversial decision to impose a 10 p.m. curfew in pubs and restaurants reduced attendance after 6 p.m. on average by 4.5%, which compares to a smaller 2.4% decrease during the day.
Alarmingly, footfall in central London has slumped 60% compared to 2019. Regional cities are down around 50%, according to experts at Springboard, which promotes the hospitality industry.
This confirms the “ghost town” status of many once prosperous cities.
Michael Kill, Managing Director of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “It has been horrible. We will see catastrophic results in terms of companies deciding to shut down.
Royal fans were quick to congratulate William on “registering” with struggling businesses and “sending their love” to everyone affected by the new restrictions.
A royal fan wrote: ‘It’s so nice of Prince William to check out the hospitality industry. This has been hit the hardest, a lot of people are struggling to keep their jobs or get the hours they need to keep food on the table.
Another said: ‘Liverpool are currently Tier 3 with the strictest restrictions, it’s nice of the Duke to check in with them at what must be a tough time. “
“I send my love to the hospitality industry in Liverpool right now as well as the rest of the UK,” said a third.
Today, the Duke has become the patron of two wildlife conservation charities after taking over as the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.
The new patronages are with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
Royal fans were quick to praise William for “checking out” with struggling businesses and “sending their love” to everyone affected by the new restrictions.
Prince William (pictured) became the patron of two wildlife conservation charities after taking over as the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh
Announced today, the new sponsorships are with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Pictured the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle in June 2020
The Duke of Cambridge, who is now back in London at Kensington Palace after going through confinement with his family at his country home in Anmer Hall in Norfolk, has a keen interest in preserving the natural environment for future generations .
He recently participated in an ITV documentary that followed him for two years as he embarked on a global mobilization mission for the natural world.
The royal had also launched his Earthshot Prize initiative, which aims to reward 50 environmental pioneers with £ 1million to continue their work to tackle major problems impacting the environment.