Nick Mackenzie, chief executive at Greene King has voiced his concern at reopening the company’s pub gardens in April as part of the country’s roadmap out of lockdown, saying it ‘simply isn’t viable’ to do so.
Following the Prime Minister’s update on the easing of lockdown on Monday night, Mackenzie said it was disappointing not to be able to open alongside non-essential retail, gyms and hairdressers on April 12, with the new rules allowing hospitality venues to trade outside only from this date.
Pubs, restaurant and hotels will then be permitted to reopen fully from May 17.
Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, said: “We are desperate to reopen our pubs. Opening pub gardens in April simply isn’t viable so many pubs will have to remain closed and, with a phased reopening from May, next week’s Budget needs to bring positive news as we continue to burn tens of millions of pounds in cash every month.
An extension to furlough, the business rates holiday and hospitality VAT cut for another year, as well as providing additional targeted support to those most affected, will help project jobs and the future of the great British pub. As we look to June, we need clarity on what the full lifting of restrictions looks like so we can plan for pubs to be open as normal once more.
“Pubs and hospitality can be part of the solution when it comes to safe and responsible socialising, where people can meet in Covid-secure environments rather than behind closed doors in each other’s homes.”