Following yesterday’s press conference by the Prime Minister, the British Beer & Pub Association ‘welcomed’ confirmation by the Government that pubs will be allowed to reopen outdoors only from 12 April.
The BBPA said that whilst the news was exciting for publicans and pub goers a like, it was important to remember that just 40% of pubs in England – 15,000 – would be opening for outdoors service from the 12th. Making it all the more important that the Government sticks to its roadmap dates to ensure pubs can reopen indoors from 17 May without any restrictions from 21 June so they can all reopen and begin their recovery. The BBPA reiterated that those opening from 12 April will almost certainly be making a loss, but are desperate to welcome back their customers and serve their local communities.
The BBPA stated its concerns and frustration over the Government’s handling of the reopening of pubs. In particular, changes to guidelines on how pubs operate including not being able to pay at the bar, which they feel is grossly unfair as cafés and non-essential retail are not under the same restrictions.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We welcome the great news that our pubs can reopen once more for outdoor service from April 12th.
“That first pint back in the beer garden is going to be a special moment. People across the country have been looking forward to it for months.
“We expect 40% of pubs, some 15,000 in England, to reopen from April 12th. Those that do open have invested a lot in ensuring customers are both comfortable and safe, making the most of the pub beer garden. We should remember though that those re-opening will likely be loss making.
“With so many pubs still not opening though, it’s crucial the Government sticks to its roadmap and allows pubs to reopen indoors from May 17th and without any restrictions at all from June 21st. That is the only way our pubs can trade viably and begin to fully recover.
“We continue to have deep concerns over the Governments proposals around vaccine passports and changes to guidelines on how pubs will operate once they reopen. Not allowing customers to pay at the bar for food or drink in pubs, but allowing it in cafés or shops, is completely unfair and illogical.”
It seems following the PM’s announcements that despite the reopening timetable being confirmed, and Covid-19 passports being rejected for pubs, McClarkin and the BBPA are in fact not at all happy. We suspect many of their English members will be, and certainly all publicans in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales would give their eye teeth to where their English counterparts are today. After more than a year of the pandemic, to at last be on track with a roadmap out from it, and restrictions easing, we would have left the bemoaning of what we haven’t got to another day, and focused on what we do have.
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Hospitality & Catering News: PM’s roadmap approval and pub passport rejection sees BBPA’s glass left half empty. – 6 April 2021 – PM’s roadmap approval and pub passport rejection sees BBPA’s glass left half empty.