Increase In Regions Placed Under Tier Three Restrictions Means Future Of Britain’s Pubs Hangs By A Thread This Christmas

BBPA responds to announcement on tier review that puts thousands of Britain’s pubs at high risk of permanent closure unless Government steps in with more support

The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has responded to the tier review announcement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP.

The Secretary of State announced that from Saturday there will be more areas moved into tier three across England this Christmas, meaning the future of more of Britain’s pubs hangs by a thread as they will either be closed in tier three or unable to operate viably under tier two restrictions. The changes announced today mean that over 32,500 pubs will now be at risk of permanent closure under tier two and three restrictions – 85% of the total in England. There were only minimal movements announced from tier three to two, and two to one.

The BBPA said the announcement showed that the situation for pubs and brewers was getting even worse and it meant the sector was set for more permanent closures. It reiterated that a greater package of financial support from the Government is urgently required to prevent closures from being permanent and jobs being lost forever.

To support pubs and hold off permanent closures, the BBPA urged the UK Government to provide financial support to pubs in England in line with that in Wales, which on average are getting four times more in financial support than those in England. Some pubs in Wales, based on employee numbers, will be eligible for considerably more support too.

The BBPA says without such support a further wave of pub closures is inevitable heading into the New Year.

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

“The update on tier restrictions announced today is not the shift in the right direction that our sector desperately needed and hoped for. More regions being placed under tier three restrictions means more closed businesses, leaving the future of Britain’s pubs truly hanging by a thread this Christmas.

“It is clear that it is going to be longer than we thought until our pubs can open properly and be viable businesses again. This means that unless there is a greater package of financial support from the Government to secure our pubs, permanent closures, lost livelihoods and the destruction of valued community locals is sadly inevitable.

“It doesn’t have to be that way though. The UK Government can and should follow the lead of Wales, which is providing pubs facing similar restrictions and closure with four times more financial support than those in England. Some pubs in Wales will receive even more than that.

“The Prime Minister and Chancellor have no excuses. They must now secure pubs and jobs by giving locals in England the same support as those in Wales. Without such support, a wave of pub closures is guaranteed at a time when they should be leading the economic recovery.”