Scapegoated pubs need funding deal to survive winter: CAMRA NI
Responding to last night’s announcement by the Executive that pubs will remain closed until 27th November, Ruth Sloan, Chair of the Campaign for Real Ale in Northern Ireland said:
“Local pubs and breweries feel they are being offered up as a sacrificial lamb. They have invested thousands doing everything that has been asked of them to provide a COVID-safe environment for their visitors, yet alcohol sales are becoming a scapegoat for the virus without proper evidence or explanation.
“It is extraordinary that pubs and restaurants have been told at the very last minute that they must now stay closed for another two weeks. Whilst selling alcohol in sealed containers to take-away will be a small help for some, it doesn’t seem fair that whilst cafes and coffee shops can re-open on 20th November, pubs can’t open at the same time to sell meals as they always have done in previous periods of restrictions.
“The Executive must urgently improve their support package to ensure all of our pubs and breweries get the financial compensation and support they need to get through not just this extended period of closures, but crucially during the difficult winter weeks and months that follow with restrictions reducing trade and knocking consumer confidence. Without a long-term financial support package, I fear that this could be the end for our breweries and pubs as we know them.”