Responding to speculation about the possible return of restrictions and a possible curfew for pubs in England, CAMRA’s National Chairman Nik Antona said:
“The prospect of a curfew for our pubs, social clubs and brewery taprooms is a horrifying prospect for publicans across England who are already facing a collapse in consumer confidence as a result of government announcements.
“Ministers shouldn’t be singling out the hospitality sector for cruel and unfair restrictions like a curfew if other, similar businesses like non-essential retail are deemed safe to operate as normal.
“Throughout the pandemic, licensees and staff working in pubs have been willing to do whatever is necessary to provide a safe, Covid-secure place for people to enjoy the wellbeing benefits of having a pint with friends and family. They can ill afford a return to arbitrary restrictions targeting one sector of the economy without adequate explanation or evidence – which has not materialised at any point in the last 18 months, despite endless requests from CAMRA and other campaigning groups.
“What pubs, social clubs and their supply chains need is a new, comprehensive support package from the Government. This must include grants, employment support, rent support and business rate relief. Existing financial schemes designed to get the hospitality sector through reopening are simply not good enough when the actions of the Government are driving consumers away from pubs in their masses.”