Pubs Are Likely To Stay Closed For Another Three Months, According To Industry Body
Next month beer gardens are expected to be opening their gates for members of the public, but experts believe many won't be opening theirs until May because it's not sustainable.
Not only are there many pubs that don't have beer gardens to open, but for others it just won't be worth it.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) is calling for establishments to re-open for both indoor and outdoor service when non-essential shops open.
This is because even though around 75 percent of UK pubs have a beer garden or outdoor space, only 40 percent are likely to have a big enough space.
It has been estimated that only 17 percent of pubs will be able to open their outdoor space and even then it will only take a bit of bad weather and sales will decrease, leaving many places struggling to break even.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) told Sky News: "This would result in a loss of turnover to the sector of £1.5bn when compared to trading in normal times. That is far from reopening and recovering.
"Even if some pubs did try and open outdoors only in April, all it would take is some heavy rain and they would find it has all been for nothing.
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"For many pubs, gardens are at the back and the only way to access them is through the inside. And of course, toilet facilities would still need to be provided.
"We question the government's thinking behind this and suggest they consult with us as a sector on it."
She added: "It is simply unsustainable for us to open and trade in that way so it looks more likely we'll be closed for three months, so we're going to need a support package to see us through that.
"We'll need business rates extended and we'll also need that VAT discount when it does kick in for an actual reopening, probably in May."
Yesterday, it was claimed beer gardens could be set to reopen next month after schools reopen on 8 March.
BREAKING: I have seen a "leak" which I believe to be true
Schools 8th March
Beer Gardens, max 2 households 29th March
Non essential retail 3rd week in April
A cautious 4 point plan on releasing lockdown, based on:
Pressure on NHS
- Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) February 21, 2021
A post from Greater Manchester's night time economy adviser Sacha Lord, claimed a leaked report has suggested beer gardens could be back open 29 March, followed by indoor pubs and restaurants in May and nightclubs in August.
A report in the Times claimed: "It is possible that those with outside spaces will be allowed to start serving customers as early as April, however it is likely to take longer before indoor service can return."
A senior aide told The Sunday Times: "The two areas where people have been hurt are in education and the fact that no one has been able to have social contact with friends and family. That's why schools and outdoor socialising come first."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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