Swathe of UK hospitality firms see risk of insolvency: ONS

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FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Llandudno

LONDON (Reuters) - More than a third of British hospitality companies are at risk of going bust, according to a survey on Thursday that suggested more support will be needed for businesses amid a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Office for National Statistics said 17% of food and accommodation businesses reported a "severe" risk of insolvency, while a further 21% said the risk was "moderate".

The data underscore a warning made last week by the head of the UK Hospitality trade body, Kate Nicholls, that renewed restrictions to curb the pandemic could turn out to be the "death knell" for many businesses.

The data also showed 29% of manufacturers reported at least a moderate risk of insolvency.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak is due to update parliament later on Thursday on measures to support jobs.

Nearly a tenth of Britain's workforce remained furloughed during the two weeks to Oct. 4, the ONS said, with the scheme due to close at the end of this month.

With localised lockdowns spreading across the country, the ONS said the proportion of adults who travelled to work in the week to Oct. 18 fell by 5 percentage points to 60%.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken and Sarah Young)