Up to 12,000 pubs face permanent closure following the Governments new lock-down, a crisis described as greater than that even posed by the Second World War, The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) have said in anarticle in the Daily Telegraph.
The BBPA has protested that the sector is being unfairly targeted with Public Health England’s own figures showing just 31 outbreaks of covid-19 out of a total of 1,392 in the week ending October 29 had been linked to the hospitality sector.
A survey by industry bodies of its members indicates pubs are responsible for about 1% of outbreaks. In contrast schools, universities and other educational establishments were linked to 311 incidents, almost a quarter of all outbreaks in that week. The new lock-down in England threatens to be more damaging than the first with pubs banned from selling takeaway beer this time around in the run up the festive season, the festive season, the busiest time of the year for the hospitality trade.
Emma McClarkin , the BBPA’s chief executive and a former Conservative MEP, said on Sunday night: “This is the nightmare before Christmas. Our research suggests 12,000 pubs could close putting 290,000 jobs at risk. That is a huge number. For the pub industry this is no longer about surviving these four weeks of lock-down but surviving through the winter and just getting to spring. This is the biggest crisis ever to the great British pub. It is a bigger crisis than the Second World War. For the hospitality sector it is crippling; the restrictions are crippling.”
Kate Nichols CEO at UKHosdpitality said: “Hospitality businesses have already been pushed to the limits, with many closures already. For those that have survived, viability is on a knife edge, as is the future of the tens of thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on hospitality, including through its supply chain, right across the country.
“It is critical that businesses are given a lifeline to survive the winter, before being given the support to enter a revival phase in 2021, as the nation’s prospects improve. A clear roadmap out of lockdown and through the tiers will also be vital for businesses to plan their survival, and the safeguarding of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“It is important to remember that some parts of hospitality, such as nightclubs, have not even been allowed to re-open. The support for those, now that potential reopening has been kicked further into the future, must be redoubled to ensure that they are not lost forever.”