Pubs call for rescue package as firm reopening date remains unclear

Stars Pubs & Bars chef

A comprehensive pub support package from the government is required to rescue the industry following Boris Johnson’s announcement that England must enter a third lockdown from tomorrow, the BBPA has said.

Confirmation that pubs will be kept closed until progress has been made with the Covid-19 vaccination programme has dealt a further blow to a sector already reeling from Christmas and New Year restrictions.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said the latest announcement adds to the woes of pubs as it shows they are a long way from reopening properly.

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“Given the circumstances, a wave of business failures is imminent unless a greater package of financial support from the government is given to secure pubs and the brewers that supply them.

“That means grants in line with those in the first lockdown and support beyond April when the business rates holiday, lower VAT rates and furlough scheme all end.

“Having made it this far through the crisis, it would be disastrous if the prime minister didn’t now deliver the support our sector needs to ensure it makes it through to Easter when we hope to return back to normality.”

Ms McClarkin said that without such support, the lockdown will just tip pubs over the edge and lead to job losses throughout communities.

“Ultimately we know that pubs will eventually be a part of the way out of this crisis and back to normality. Some are even offering themselves up as vaccine hubs, which drives home the fact losing them would do untold harm to our communities,” she said.

PUBS: Contending with with new obstacles at every turn

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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