Pubs Spent £900 Million On Coronavirus Measures Before Closing Down Anyway
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Pubs, bars and restaurants have spent around £900 million - according to estimates from within the industry - bringing themselves up to code with coronavirus measures, despite the fact that many of them have now been forced to close their doors once again, the Daily Mail reports.
Naturally, the folks who own and operate the venues that have paid out and been forced to shut down are unhappy at what they've called an 'ever changing raft of ill-thought-out regulations'.
Research suggests that each pub has spent more than £10,000 adapting to the new world, but many now can only take customers outside, or not at all
This is because new restrictions have been brought into force across large swathes of the North of England, with Greater Manchester, Liverpool, South Yorkshire and Lancashire all under the highest tier of rules.
That means that alcohol can only be served in pubs that offer a 'substantial meal' - whatever that is exactly - and those who can't have to shut down once again.
On top of that, pubs in the central belt of Scotland have been shut down, and Wales has entered a two week 'fire break' lockdown in an attempt to get the virus back under control.
Northern Ireland has also closed pubs out of concern at the rising number of cases.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak was forced into extending his Job Support Scheme last week, but that has done little to quell the unhappiness and fear among those in the hospitality and leisure industry.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Emma McClarkin - chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association - said: "Ninety percent of pubs are currently unable to make any profit.
"More will need to be done to support Britain's brewers and those in the pub supply chain who currently do not benefit from grants."
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, told the same publication: "The Government's restrictions make it impossible for most venues to operate profitably and are having a devastating impact."
The latest official data suggests that four out of every ten restaurants, pubs and bars are looking at going out of business, and the majority are currently operating at a loss.
The tier three measures mean that 5,000 pubs in the north must close if they don't serve food, according to property adviser Altus Group.
On top of that, more than 41,000 jobs have been lost from the industry since the pandemic began.