Chancellor Rishi Sunak's latest Covid support package in the wake of the Omicron variant has been welcomed in the county, although some have questioned whether it goes far enough.

Mr Sunak announced the new £1bn support package for businesses which are suffering from Covid-19 restrictions, primarily the hospitality industry.

The Chancellor outlined those businesses which can claim a one-off cash grant of £6,000, along with bringing back the opportunity for companies to receive compensation on employees’ sick pay.

In addition to this, more than £100m has been made available for local authorities to support struggling businesses – as part of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG).

Calls are being made across the UK from leading members of the hospitality industry who say that although the money is well received , it doesn’t stretch far enough to cover losses.

However, leading Cumbrian hospitality accountancy firm robinson+co welcomed the relief aid.

Managing director Peter Ellwood said: “Many of our clients have been experiencing cancellations left, right and centre in the last couple of weeks. As Covid infections rise, businesses have also been hit with staff absences due to self-isolation.

“The Government seem to be on the brink of announcing new Covid measures post-Christmas, with many left thinking that these measures will strike another blow to hospitality with the closure of hospitality indoors and possibly more.

“Now hospitality is in limbo – do they fully stock up for the festive period or do they look to batten down the hatches?”, he said.

Mr Ellwood added that the package provided businesses with “support and comfort”, during a time of “uncertainty”.

Included in the package is £30m to support the arts industry – another contribution to the initial £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) – with hopes of seeing theatres, orchestras and museums through until March 2022.

Lee Martin-Whitey, chairman of the Carnegie Theatre Trust in Workington said the relief was welcomed, but more information was needed to find out who was eligible.

“The bottom line is, the longer the industry struggles, the longer it will need financial support," he said.