Tier Two Restrictions Will Decimate Pubs Without Financial Support

The British Beer & Pub Association has responded to the news that tier two Covid-19 measures will be placed on various regions across the UK including London, Essex, York, Chesterfield, Barrow, Erewash and North East Derbyshire.

The trade association says a stronger, “proper package” of financial support for pubs, brewers and their supply chains in these areas will be needed if they are to survive. It says that pubs were already struggling to survive due to the current restrictions in place, low consumer confidence and lack of tourists and commuters in cities and towns. The additional tier two restrictions, which stop households from mixing indoors and further erodes consumer confidence will lead to the permanent closure of many pubs, unless there is an improved package of support to help compensate for the vast reduction in their revenue.

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

“Tier two restrictions will decimate pubs, brewers and their supply chains in these regions unless a proper package of support is given to them.

“All pubs are already particularly struggling due to the current restrictions of the 10pm curfew, rule of six and low consumer confidence exacerbated by low footfall caused by a lack of tourists and commuters. These further restrictions will leave most pubs fighting for their very survival.

“Tier two measures mean pubs can remain open, but households cannot mix inside them. This completely kills our pubs’ business model making many of them totally unviable, yet under tier two restrictions they are not eligible for any additional financial support from Government, unlike in tier three where additional support is provided. The knock-on effect to brewers and pubs’ supply chain partners will devastate them too without more support.

“Without additional financial support, specifically access to financial grants and a job retention scheme closer to that in tier three, many pubs will be closing their doors for good.

“The Government must now do the right thing and immediately announce financial support measures to ensure pubs in these regions can survive, to continue serving their local communities and supporting thousands of jobs. They must also clarify how long these restrictions will be in place and what criteria the decisions for moving in and out of the tiering system will be based on. We urge the Government to work with us on this.”

National Chairman of CAMRA Nik Antona said:

“Pubs in areas being placed into Tier 2 are being put into a devastating danger zone – with additional restrictions but no additional support.

“These restrictions – particularly the ban on going to the pub with people outside your own household or support bubble – are a huge cause for concern for pubs across the Essex and the Capital.

“We know from other parts of the country that have had local lockdown restrictions imposed that they damage the ability of pubs to stay open, turn a profit and pay their staff.

“Because pubs aren’t being forced to close, they aren’t eligible for Government support – despite being forced to operate under much tighter restrictions than other businesses. This also has a huge knock on effect for our brewers, who will struggle to get their product to market.

“Government ministers must now introduce a new financial support package to help London’s pubs pay staff wages and fixed costs in the face of severely reduced trade that will come as a result of these restrictions. It’s the only way to avoid thousands of permanent pub closures and job losses.

“CAMRA continues to encourage people in London and Essex to use pubs in a safe and responsible way during this period of restrictions in order to support our well-loved locals during these tough times.”