Coronavirus: Jobs that 'don't fit' with COVID-19 may take a 'long time to come back'

29 September 2020, 08:28 | Updated: 29 September 2020, 10:32

Jobs that "don't fit" with coronavirus may "take a long time to come back", a minister has warned.

Gillian Keegan told Sky News' Kay Burley show that the furlough scheme did support people in industries hardest hit by COVID-19, but it cannot continue "indefinitely".

She painted a bleak immediate future for parts of the night-time economy still forced to stay closed, admitting: "It is hard to see how nightclubs will open until we have some kind of long-term way to deal with coronavirus."

The skills minister was challenged about fresh new restrictions slipped out by the government banning some singing and dancing in hospitality venues.

"It's hard to keep your space if people are moving and you don't know how someone else is going to move," she said.

And Ms Keegan defended the 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants.

She said they should be "COVID-secure" anyway, but "if they stay open later, we don't get control of the virus".

Asked what scientific basis there was for the policy, Ms Keegan pointed to Belgium where a similar measure was introduced and cases decreased.

"That is the science, the evidence that we have," she added.

DJ "Fat Tony" told Sky News his industry has "been on its knees for the last six months" and the government's pledge to top up wages will not be any help for those who will not get any money at all because their premises are shut.

"My career is not dispensable - it's not something you can throw away," he said.

"I've worked a lifetime to get to the point in my career where I am.

"We train to do what we do, it's not something we do overnight, it's an art.

"Just to say 'that's disposable and we'll leave that on ice' and let a million people lose their jobs is despicable."