The new Tier 2 restrictions will decimate pubs without a proper package of financial support in place, the industry’s trade association has warned.
The British Beer & Pub Associaton (BBPA) sounded the alarm on the same day it emerged Tier 2 restrictions are to be imposed in London from midnight tomorrow to stop the Covid-19 epidemic worsening.
The hospitality sector has been hammered by a series of restrictions that have come in since venues were allowed to reopen from lockdown in July. Last month saw a 10pm curfew come in and the government has recently announced the three tiered system of local Covid alert levels in England.
Under the ‘very high’ level pubs and bars must close, and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant.
For regions under Tier 2 there is a ban on mixing between households indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.
The BBPA says a stronger, “proper package” of financial support for pubs, brewers and their supply chains in these impacted areas will be needed if they are to survive.
The association said that pubs were already struggling due to the current restrictions in place, low consumer confidence and lack of tourists and commuters in cities and towns.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “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."
McClarkin added: “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.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently announced the government’s Job Support Scheme has been expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
Pub bosses point out that although venues are allowed to open under Tier 2, trade will be weaker than normal due to the restrictions.