The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to the announcement that there will be a four week delay in the lifting of COVID restrictions.
The delay will mean all remaining COVID restrictions, including those on pubs, will stay in place until 19 July.
The BBPA has said the delay in the roadmap for full reopening will cost pubs £400 million for this period alone. £100m per week of closure.
The trade association now has real fears of a lost summer for pubs, as confidence deteriorates and bookings are cancelled due to current restrictions staying in place.
It says there can be no further delays now to the full reopening of pubs, and that all restrictions must be lifted on 19 July. Until then, it says a further package of support will now be required to see many pubs through the year.
Emma McClarkin, BBPA's Chief Executive, (pictured), said, “Delaying the removal of COVID restrictions by four weeks is incredibly hard for our sector to stomach.
“The delay will cost our pubs £400 million for this period alone, but inevitably much more as confidence deteriorates and as a key part of the summer season is lost that is so critical to our sectors viability. Each week of the delay will cost pubs £100 million.
“Pubs and licensees are struggling to recover with the current restrictions they face and debts are accumulating. Every week the current restrictions stay and uncertainty continues, the likelihood of pubs being lost forever increases.
“A full package of Government support is now critical for our sector until it is guaranteed to open fully without any restrictions.
McClarkin closed, “Our pubs require as a minimum an immediate three month extension to the business rates holiday, the ability to defer loan payments due now and a further extension of VAT support. Grants for businesses particularly affected, such as those pubs who cannot still reopen because of the current restrictions, must now also be put in place.”