William in video call with Liverpool business owners about pandemic challenges

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The Duke of Cambridge has held a video call with business owners in Liverpool – including the DJ Yousef – to discuss the challenges they face because of the coronavirus pandemic.

William spoke to the producer, who runs Circus Events, Circus Recordings and the city’s The Circus nightclub, on Monday.

The Liverpool City Region is one of only two areas in England under the harshest Tier 3 restrictions.

Pubs and bars are closed in Liverpool unless they can serve meals, and household are banned from mixing indoors and outdoors.

Posting on Instagram after the chat, Yousef said he had hoped to take “the discussion about what’s happening to the events industry all the way to the top…. but I wasn’t expecting this.”

He praised the duke for seeming “genuinely interested” in the issues and added: “I never thought I’d be invited to speak to the future King about how to help save the rave.”

The second in line to throne was also joined on the chat by Natalie Haywood, an entrepreneur who runs the wedding, events and restaurant venues Leaf, Oh Me Oh My and One Fine Day.

Kensington Palace said the trio discussed the impact the Covid-19 outbreak was having on the hospitality industry.

Ms Haywood, who has temporarily closed her Leaf on Bold Street venue to protect the business and secure staff wages, has previously told how the pandemic had devastating ramifications on the sector.

“I think it’s impossible to overstate how difficult it has been during this whole period, but also how hard it is in the current climate, whether you’re closed and trying to survive on the support during closure or whether you’re open and trading with restrictions that are essentially strangling us,” she has said.

She urged hospitality business owners to apply for the Liverpool City Region Hospitality and Leisure Support Grant in a bid to save hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs.

Crowds of people were seen dancing in Liverpool city centre when bars shut their doors for the final time ahead of the new tougher restrictions, which came into force on Wednesday.

The scenes came as it was reported that intensive care capacity in the city’s hospitals was over 90% full, with Covid-19 patients making up an increasing proportion of patients.

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