More financial support needed for pubs after roadmap statement only provides for limited re-opening: CAMRA
Responding to the Prime Minister’s statement in the House of Commons announcing a four-part plan to lift lockdown in England, CAMRA National Chairman Nik Antona said:
“While we understand the Government’s cautious approach, this will nonetheless be a disappointing announcement for the beer and pub industry, which looks set to be the last to be allowed to properly re-open.
“We know that pubs aren’t vectors for transmission, so ministers must publish the full evidence behind applying restrictions on pubs when the likes of non-essential retail will be able to fully open up sooner and without restrictions.
“Whilst scrapping the curfew and substantial meal requirement is welcome, only permitting pubs to operate using outside space at first, and then inside using table service only, isn’t a proper re-opening. Two thirds of pubs could stay closed during the outdoor-only trading period, with many more likely to struggle without being able to trade at full capacity while the table-service-only requirement remains.
“The Prime Minister’s commitment to continue financial support is welcome, but as a result of this roadmap next week’s Budget is more vital than ever. First and foremost, pubs, breweries and the wider supply chain desperately need ongoing financial support not only for the next few weeks but for as long as pubs are operating at a reduced trade.
“The Budget must also include an extension to furlough and the business rates holiday, a reduction in VAT for on trade alcohol sales as well as food and cutting duty for beer served in pubs to help them compete with supermarkets.”