Ego Restaurants will become the latest operator to close its sites this afternoon following a 60% drop in revenue over the past few days, CEO James Horler has told MCA.

Since the Government’s announcement yesterday evening, the group has received confirmation that COVID-19 is not an insurable infections disease and that it will not be granted an EFG loan on account of surpassing the £25 million revenue threshold.

Whilst Horler has confirmed closures will be initiated before the next Government update, the company will be waiting until after today’s announcement before informing staff how closures will impact them.

“We can’t access insurance, we can’t access EFG loan, we don’t know what to pay our staff. The lack of clarity has left us having to feel our way through the situation,” he said.

“We need confirmation that this situation is insurable, for the EFG loan to have a threshold above £25million and I would really like the Government to step up to the plate on employee pay.”

With governments in countries including France, Denmark and Germany paying a percentage of affected employee’s average earnings, Horler said that is the sort of initiative the UK should be implementing.

“France is paying 75% and companies can then decide whether to pay the other 25% or not. That’s also happening in Denmark and Germany and so on. All of these countries are saying they will pay a percentage of someone’s average earnings, and that’s what we should be doing here,” he said.

“Once we pull the trigger on closing, it’s too late for us because we’ve taken action against our staff. We’ve got 1,000 staff and we’ll be left after this with about 30-40.”

“But we can’t continue to take losses like we saw yesterday, we probably lost £45k yesterday in cash.”