Boris Must Back British Pubs-Says BBPA

British Beer & Pub Association urges UK Government to recognise more specific support is needed for pubs, as France announces plan to end lockdown confirming bars and restaurants won’t open for months

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to back British pubs, by giving them the specific support they need to get through the COVID-19 lockdown and beyond.

It says such support is essential to ensuring pubs survive the COVID-19 lockdown, so they can re-open when safe to do so and be commercially viable whilst getting back on their feet.

The news comes as France today announced its plans to end their lockdown, but stated it will not set a date for when restaurants, bars and cafés could reopen until the end of May, but it would not be any earlier than June. As a result, the French Government has not only extended the current support available, but also introduced additional financial support.

In the likelihood that pubs, which are unique to the UK, and other British hospitality businesses won’t have certainty on when they can reopen for months either, the BBPA says it is more critical than ever that the UK Government gives them specific additional support.

It says the UK Government must ‘fill the gaps’ we have highlighted in the support pubs need to get them through the COVID-19 crisis, as well as extend this support until full social distancing measures are lifted to help pubs and hospitality businesses get back on their feet. This would include continuing the Job Retention Scheme for pubs throughout their closure and beyond, as well as extension of the Government’s grant support scheme – including to the 10,000 pubs above the current £51k rateable value threshold.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“We urge Boris Johnson to back British pubs. The sector needs his full support if pubs are going to make it through the COVID-19 crisis.

“The plans announced in France today to lift lockdown measures suggest that pubs, bars and hospitality businesses here in the UK will be amongst the last to reopen.

“Pubs are unique to the UK, but many will be lost if the necessary financial support isn’t in place to help them now and when they re-open. The Government needs to give the guarantees now it will give more specific support to pubs and hospitality businesses.

“Pubs might survive the COVID-19 lockdown, but without additional support to assist them when re-opening, many could fall at the last hurdle as we come out the other end of this crisis.”