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Fiona O’Loughlin, 57, looks UNRECOGNISABLE on The Project

Is it really you? Australian comedian Fiona O'Loughlin, 57, shocks with dramatic transformation... and you'll NEVER guess what she looks like now By Nicole Douglas...
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    Pub and restaurant bosses say 200,000 London workers will lose their jobs this weekend due to Tier 2

    Hospitality bosses say 200,000 London workers will lose their jobs this weekend as Soho revellers enjoy last night out before ban on mixing in pubs and restaurants starts tonight

    • London will move into Tier 2 at 12am tonight, with up to ‘200,000 hospitality jobs lost this weekend’ alone
    • City’s new covid-19 restrictions will mean no mixing of households indoors, a blow for the hospitality sector
    • Kate Nicholls of UKHospitality says hit to central London hospitality will be ‘catastrophic’ due loss of trade
    • Last night revellers descended onto London’s streets for the final night before tighter lockdown restrictions

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    Around 200,000 people in central London could lose their jobs in hospitality this weekend as Tier 2 sees a ‘maximum squeeze on revenue and no support’, an industry spokesman warns.

    Last night revellers descended onto London’s streets to enjoy their final night out before the capital is plunged into the tighter lockdown restrictions, announced yesterday by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

    From midnight today individuals from different households in London, Essex, York and parts of Derbyshire, will be banned from mixing indoors, even in hospitality venues – with outdoor socially distanced mingling permitted for groups of up to six.

    Party-goers in central London opted to spend last night traipsing from pub to bar in Soho, ahead of tonight’s Tier two ban, which will mean groups of friends (up to six) from different households will be required to meet in beer gardens or at restaurants with outdoor seating if they wish to support the already struggling industry.    

    Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, has warned that the lack of sector-specific funding offered to the country’s hospitality industry could be ‘catastrophic’. 

    Speaking to BBC breakfast Ms Nicholls said the new restrictions are likely to see businesses in central London letting around 200,000 people go this weekend alone.

    Party-goers opted to spend a night in pubs and bars last night in Soho, London, before the capital is placed under tighter coronavirus lockdown restrictions

    Two friends hug as police ride bikes along a street in Soho in the final night before the capital is plunged into tighter restrictions

    Two friends hug as police ride bikes along a street in Soho in the final night before the capital is plunged into tighter restrictions

    A group of friends jump and cheer as they enjoy their final night out in London before the capital is placed under Tier Two restrictions

    A group of friends jump and cheer as they enjoy their final night out in London before the capital is placed under Tier Two restrictions 

    Local infection rates are being used to split parts of the country into one of three categories that will determine the restrictions in place in the region under the plan

    Local infection rates are being used to split parts of the country into one of three categories that will determine the restrictions in place in the region under the plan

    Ms Nicholls said:’The pain of Tier 2 is that you have no government support and that’s what we need the government to urgently address otherwise you are going to have about 200,000 people in central London losing their jobs this weekend.

    ‘If you go into level three you are getting support if you’re closed, so at least you would have something to pay the teams. (…) For businesses in this part of the capital it would probably be better to be paid to be closed.’  

    Almost a third of restaurants and pubs in England will be affected by the tougher tier curbs introduced tonight – more than 8,500 venues and 5,000 pubs.  

    Pubs which serve very little food are expected to have suffered the most through the pandemic so far, due to not having benefitted from the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme which saw a cut on food VAT.

    Now pubs under tier 3 will also now be forced to stop serving alcohol if they’re not serving a ‘substantial meal’ along with it.

    Ms Nicholls said: ‘Being moved into tier 2 is a curse for businesses. They will be trapped in a no man’s land of being open, but with severe restrictions that will significantly hit custom, all while unable to access the job support available in tier 3. It is the worst of both worlds for businesses.

    ‘Venues in London have already taken a hit due to the dip in inbound tourism and with people increasingly working from home. A move into tier 2 will now be catastrophic for some of them and it is only going to be made worse by the end of the furlough scheme in under two weeks.

    Coronavirus positive tests in London have increased dramatically since the beginning of September but changes in recent weeks suggest the rate of rise is slowing down, with a 37 per cent increase in the seven days to October 7, compared to the almost double 84 per cent in the third week of September

    Coronavirus positive tests in London have increased dramatically since the beginning of September but changes in recent weeks suggest the rate of rise is slowing down, with a 37 per cent increase in the seven days to October 7, compared to the almost double 84 per cent in the third week of September

    Police patrol the streets as Londoners enjoy their final night in pubs before two households cannot mix indoors

    Police patrol the streets as Londoners enjoy their final night in pubs before two households cannot mix indoors 

    A group of friends enjoy a night out in Soho, London, before Tier Two restrictions mean two households cannot mix indoors, including in bars and restaurants

    A group of friends enjoy a night out in Soho, London, before Tier Two restrictions mean two households cannot mix indoors, including in bars and restaurants

    A group of six people sit outside a bar in London after mayor Sadiq Khan made a deal with ministers to tighten restrictions in the capital

    A group of six people sit outside a bar in London after mayor Sadiq Khan made a deal with ministers to tighten restrictions in the capital

    ‘The Government must remove employer contributions from the Job Support Scheme for hospitality or apply tier 3 job support to tier 2 businesses. If it does not, we are looking at catastrophic businesses closures and widespread job losses in the capital as early as 1 November.’

    Ms Nicholls has pushed for the ‘job support scheme’ , which requires employers to cough up 55 per cent of staff wages, to waive employer contributions and called for a tier-3 style funding for all hospitality in which venues hit by closures can get £3,000 cast grants.  

    Industry bosses previously estimated 300,000 hospitality jobs would be lost in the absence of an industry bailout by government – but inline with Ms Nicholls prediction of 200,000 jobs to be lost in central London this weekend alone the total could be much higher.

    Robert Hayton of Altus, a property advising group, told The Guardian: ‘Further restrictive measures that adversely impact trade, already at far lower levels than before the pandemic, without any discerning targeted support, could be the death knell.’    

    Two friends sit at a table outside in the streets of Soho, London, on the night before mixing of households indoors is banned

    Two friends sit at a table outside in the streets of Soho, London, on the night before mixing of households indoors is banned 

    One pub-goer clutches a glass of red wine and looks at his lap outside a bar in Soho, London, before coronavirus restrictions are tightened

    One pub-goer clutches a glass of red wine and looks at his lap outside a bar in Soho, London, before coronavirus restrictions are tightened

    Friends gather around tables in Soho, London, and enjoy the final night out in the capital before tighter restrictions are imposed

    Friends gather around tables in Soho, London, and enjoy the final night out in the capital before tighter restrictions are imposed 

    Jasmine Whitbread, the chief executive of London First, said she believes that more transparency is needed over how these short-term measures are expected to reduce transmission of covid-19 and avoid ‘worse to come’.

    Ms Whitbread told the publication: ‘The government must not repeat the mistakes of the summer and must use this time to fix the track and trace system and put in further support for those businesses unable to trade.’ 

    Richard Corrigan, one of the West End’s best known restaurateurs, said many establishments were already ‘fighting’ to stay afloat and would not survive a second hospitality shutdown.

    Guillaume Marly, Managing Director of London’s Hotel Café Royal, said a second lockdown would be ‘hugely detrimental to our industry’ and the ‘nail in the coffin for a vast amount of businesses’.

    Under Tier Two restrictions, pubs and restaurants can remain open but households cannot mix indoors and they must close at 10pm. Pictured: Pub-goers enjoy the final night out before tighter restrictions in Soho, London

    Under Tier Two restrictions, pubs and restaurants can remain open but households cannot mix indoors and they must close at 10pm. Pictured: Pub-goers enjoy the final night out before tighter restrictions in Soho, London

    Two police officers patrol the streets in Soho, London, last night as bars, pubs and restaurants must close at 10pm under the current Tier One restrictions

    Two police officers patrol the streets in Soho, London, last night as bars, pubs and restaurants must close at 10pm under the current Tier One restrictions

    A group of police officers wearing face coverings patrol Soho's streets on bicycles on the night before the capital is plunged into Tier Two restrictions

    A group of police officers wearing face coverings patrol Soho’s streets on bicycles on the night before the capital is plunged into Tier Two restrictions 

    Sadiq Khan was yesterday accused of 'rushing' London into a damaging lockdown. Pictured: Pub-goers enjoy the final night before tighter restrictions in Soho, London

    Sadiq Khan was yesterday accused of ‘rushing’ London into a damaging lockdown. Pictured: Pub-goers enjoy the final night before tighter restrictions in Soho, London

    ‘There has been an unacceptable lack of consideration and understanding for our industry as a whole and now is the time to show support,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.

    Jonathan Raggett, Managing Director of Red Carnation Hotels, which operates several properties in London, also criticised Government moves to plunge the capital into lockdown.

    He told the newspaper: ‘We are of course disappointed to hear that there may be limitations put in place that would affect the hospitality industry once again. The safety of our staff and guests is paramount.’

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