The beer and pub sector is urging the Prime Minister to reopen pub doors as soon as possible, with the call being led by the British Beer & Pub Association.
The beer and pub sector has been one of the most adversely affected sectors by Covid-19 and the lockdowns. In 2020 alone, a combination of restrictions on trade and lockdowns saw sales of beer in pubs plummet by 56%, a decrease of £7.8 billion.
Tens of thousands of pubs are operated as small family businesses, which also double up as a home, meaning despite being successful businesses for decades, pubs could close and many could become homeless through no fault of their own.
The restrictions and closure of pubs has had an adverse effect on communities across the UK too, with many losing their heart of the community and social hub. Despite this, pubs across the UK have still endeavoured to support their local communities where possible through a range of innovations and initiatives, including virtual pub quizzes, virtual meet and greets and even cooking and supplying food to those most vulnerable in their communities, as well as countless others.
Ahead of the Prime Minister’s roadmap to reopening speech on Monday 22nd February, the beer and pub industry has been vocal on the need for pubs to reopen alongside non-essential retail once the most vulnerable in society have been vaccinated.
They have also stated that opening pubs outdoor only is not a viable solution because 60% of pubs in the UK – 29,000 – would still not be able to open with countless more likely unable to break even in trade even if they were to reopen.
Britain’s brewers and pubs are hoping the Prime Minister will do the right thing and keep the doors open of this Great British icon.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub, said: “The Great British Pub has always been more than just a place to drink. It is where we go to connect. It is where we go to form community.
“Lockdown has undoubtedly had a significant impact on the wellbeing and mental health of all of us. Our pubs can play a leading role in bringing us back together once more, safely, in a controlled and regulated environment.
“As a community support centre, our sector is part of the solution in fighting this virus. I urge the Prime Minister to do all he can to keep the doors open of the Great British Pub ahead of announcing his roadmap.”
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