The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has welcomed confirmation from government that all pubs will be able to reopen from 4 July – even though it had lobbied for the industry to be given three weeks to prepare.
The BBPA had been urging the government to provide a clear date for when pubs can reopen along with the publication of guidance so pubs could plan with certainty and clarity for reopening safely.
It had said that reducing social distancing for pubs from two metres to one metre would enable 75% of pubs in England – 28,000 in total – to re-open.
Under two metre social distancing rules, only a third of England’s pubs – 12,500 – would have been able to re-open.
The BBPA said the clear and definitive reopening date was a much needed boost to Britain’s beer and pub sector, giving it the certainty and confidence it needed.
Although reopening on 4 July will not give the sector the three weeks’ notice it said it needed for reopening, some pubs and breweries had already begun their preparations for reopening – developing plans to ensure the safety of pub customers and staff and brewing fresh draught beer for pubs – which will allow a good number of pubs to be ready on 4th July.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “It’s great to know our pubs will be able to reopen on 4 July. This is an important step for us but it is just the first step on what will be a very a long road to recovery for our sector.
“Whilst the government hasn’t given us the three weeks minimum notice we asked for to get our pubs ready for reopening, thankfully as an industry we already started our preparations to ensure our pubs were ready to open when we were given the green light.
“It’s great to see the government adopt the WHO guidance and the examples of many other countries across the world who’ve safely reopened their hospitality sectors using one metre as their safe social distance measure.
“This will enable many more pubs to begin to get back on their feet and will help save thousands of pubs and jobs. We estimate that this decision will enable up to 28,000 pubs to open. It allows pubs more space to operate in, which is a big help from a viability perspective too.”
Meanwhile, Greene King CEO, Nick Mackenzie, said the confirmed opening date and change to social distancing from two metres to one was “the news we’ve all been waiting for”.
“It is a welcome relief for pub operators, our team members who want to get back to work and of course our customers who have been missing their local pub. We now urgently need the detailed government guidelines so that we can check we have the correct measures in place to reopen safely for our team members and customers.”