The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to the news that tier three lockdown measures will be placed on London and parts of Hertfordshire and Essex from Wednesday 16 December.
The trade association has said that in London alone the restrictions will force 1,250 pubs who remained open in tier two to close, putting nearly 8,000 more sector jobs at risk worth an additional £16 million to the local economy. In total, 56,000 sector jobs are now at risk in London alone as all its 3,680 pubs will now be closed except for takeaway business.
The trade association also says a stronger package of financial support is vital not just for pubs, but also brewers across the rest of the country. Particularly as this latest full closure is likely to see pubs closed through the critical lead up to Christmas and over the New Year trading periods.
The trade association has highlighted the huge disparity in support offered to pubs in England compared to those in Wales saying that pubs in London and affected areas of Hertfordshire and Essex will receive support that is four times less that offered to pubs in Wales from the Welsh Government for similar trading restrictions. Some pubs in Wales will be eligible for even more support than that.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:
“Moving into tier three is another nail in the coffin for London’s pubs, as well as those affected in parts of Hertfordshire and Essex.
“It could completely destroy many pubs in London and parts of Hertfordshire and Essex who have taken bookings for the lead up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve if the tiers don’t change before then. It is cruel on hardworking publicans doing all they can to support their communities and invest in implementing all the required safety measures. Especially as the Government’s own evidence shows pubs are safe.
“It is also cruel in stopping friends, families and loved-ones from using their local this Christmas as a safe space to socialise in, with all the evidence showing that pubs are ranked amongst the lowest places for transmission.
“In London alone, it will now see the final 1,250 pubs who had remained open in tier two which were supporting 8,000 livelihoods forced to close.
“A far bigger package of financial support, with wider eligibility for all businesses impacted, across all regions, is needed if our sector is to survive the tier two and three restrictions this winter. The survival of the great British pub as we know it hangs in the balance.
“It is not fair that pubs in London and other parts of England receive four times less financial support than pubs in Wales . Particularly as pubs in London are the most expensive to run.
“Support also needs to be made available to brewers and the wider supply chain businesses also seeing a major trade channel closed overnight.”
CAMRA National Vice-Chair Abigail Newton said:
“Going into Tier 3 in the run up to Christmas – which is usually their busiest time of the year – is absolutely devastating news for pubs and breweries in and around the capital.
“This week, pub goers across the country are flooding social media and MP’s inboxes with reasons why #PubsMatter to show just how important our locals are to communities, for local services and meeting spaces and to tackle loneliness and social isolation,
“Not being able to go to the pub this Christmas as a result of this decision will be a real blow for many Londoners. That’s why the Government needs to ensure all pubs are treated fairly in all tiers, and that they get a decent level of financial support to survive these damaging Tier 3 restrictions, which will put the future of otherwise viable pubs at risk.”