BBPA issues rallying call to England fans to watch football at the local, as it warns of booking cancellations and staffing concerns hampering pubs’ recovery.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has said that pubs are set to lose over £5 million in sales during the quarter-final UEFA EURO 2020 knockout match against Ukraine, because of the impact of restrictions which will mean over 1.5 million fewer pints will be sold during the match than if there were no restrictions.
The trade association said the boost to pubs from showing the Euros was being greatly restricted by ongoing restrictions still in place on the trade, including one metre plus social distancing, no standing, table service only and the rule of six.
According to the BBPA, a number of its members have actually seen Saturday bookings cancelled in the run up to the match. Members have also reported that beer sales are lower than they had hoped from the Euros games shown so far.
Recovery remains in the balance for the beer and pub sector with many pubs across the country having to close or significantly reduce their opening hours due to staffing issues, caused by staff shortages and NHS Test & Trace ‘pings’ resulting in pub staff having to isolate, despite testing negative for Coronavirus on lateral flow tests.
Reports suggesting that double-jabbed Brits won’t have to isolate for ten days if they get ‘pinged’ by the NHS Test & Trace app if they test negative on a lateral flow test will not work for the pub sector, the BBPA says, because 43% of pub staff are aged 18 – 25, meaning they are at the back of the queue for vaccines and will not have their second jab for months.
With pubs struggling to breakeven still and remain viable in the face of ongoing restrictions, the BBPA is urging England fans across the country to support England by supporting their local and watching the match at the pub. Particularly as England fans will not be able to travel to Rome to watch the match due to restrictions there.
If England fans do go to their local to watch the match, the BBPA hopes they will buy 6 million pints during the game itself. Overall, on Saturday 3rd July when the game is played, it forecasts that 19 million pints could be sold. However, if restrictions had been lifted already it predicts this would have been nearer 24 million pints, showing the huge impact ongoing restrictions are having on the viability of the sector.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:
“Restrictions on pubs are continuing to bite and because of this any boost pubs had hoped for from the Euros has been greatly weakened.
“We expect pubs to sell 1.5 million fewer pints during the match because of the restrictions. Pubs will lose out on £5 million from that alone, which could be the difference to survival or closure for some.
“As fans will not be able to attend the next match in Rome due to COVID restrictions, I urge England fans to support the team – and our pubs – by watching the game at their local where they can.
“With England fans’ support, we hope that pubs will sell 6 million pints during the game itself. While that is far less than it would have been if restrictions were lifted, our pubs need all the support they can get right now. There is no better place to watch the match than down at the local.
“Looking ahead, NHS Test & Trace is becoming a huge issue for our pubs. Already pubs are closing or greatly reducing their opening hours due to staff shortages caused by app pings – despite staff testing negative on lateral flow tests.
“Reports that anyone with both jabs will not have to isolate from a NHS Test & Trace ping so long as they test negative on a lateral flow test will not work for our sector. 43% of pubs staff are aged 18 – 25, meaning they are at the back of the queue for vaccines and will not have their second jab for months. We urge the Government to work with us to find a sensible solution to this that still ensures staff and customer safety.”