To the enormous relief of English pubs and restaurants the government has reversed its decision to ban alcohol sales during the new lockdown. The news is good, but much more support will be needed to see many businesses through the month ahead.
The about turn was the result of enormous lobbying from hospitality and beer trade bodies, and was only made at 16.00 yesterday, not even 48 hours before businesses close. There is much fine print to absorb, and the new legislation can be read in full here.
It also comes as many publicans were literally preparing to throw beer that they could not sell down the drain.
Some pub groups including Stonegate had reduced the cost of a pint to 99p in an effort to sell what they could before the ban would have become law.
The move was recognised but fell short of expectations seeing Emma McClarkin, CEO of the British Beer and Pub Association, state clearly that in her view the changes were – “not anywhere near enough” – to help pubs about to close again for at least a month.
The U Turn is welcome, but it does not solve the bigger problems facing publicans up and down the country, including the governments vagueness on the lockdown ending on 2 December.
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Hospitality & Catering News: U-Turn on alcohol sales – 4 November 2020 – U-Turn on alcohol sales.
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