Campaign for Pubs

Campaign for Pubs comments on pubs re-opening on ‘Super Saturday’ (4th July)

The Campaign for Pubs, the grassroots campaign for pubs, publicans and all pub lovers has welcomed the fact that some pubs are able to open again tomorrow, on Saturday 4th July, but has made clear that the Government and public need to understand that trade will be controlled and restricted and that there is an ongoing need for support for pubs going forward

Whilst many pubs are opening this weekend, others are delaying the opening till next week or later in the summer and some pubs cannot viably open at all whilst social distancing remains in place. Publicans have all made decisions based on the different circumstances of their own pubs, size and layout, how best to keep staff and customers safe and whether they can trade viably with the restrictions in place and reduced trade.

The Campaign for Pubs is also highlighting the huge efforts that have been made by publicans and staff to make adjustments to be able to open safely and to adhere to the strict rules and guidelines. Many publicans have invested considerably amounts of their own money to make necessary changes, despite not having had any income since the middle of March.

With pubs having been closed for more than three months, most without any trade or income, it is important that pubs, like other businesses, are permitted to open responsibly and adhering to the social distancing rules. Publicans and the Campaign for Pubs are calling on people to get out and support pubs but to do so responsibly, understanding that pubs have to operate very differently from normal times and to work with and support publicans and staff in enabling pubs to trade safely. Pubs look forward to welcoming regulars and all customers eager to get back to the pub and ask them to respect and assist publicans and pub staff and to do their bit in keeping all customers safe so everyone can enjoy pubs again.

The Campaign for Pubs continues to call for support for pubs going forward and published #10PointstoSavePubs, including a calling for a rent-free period for all pubs and VAT of 5% for the hospitality sector.

The Campaign for Pubs exists to provide a #realvoiceforpubs and to campaign for a better, freer and fairer, more sustainable pub sector. The Campaign for Pubs’ mission statement lays out this powerful vision. The Campaign for Pubs costs £25 a year to join, or £40 for a couple and members become part of a national network of those who care about pubs and their future.

Commenting, Greg Mulholland, Campaign Director of the Campaign for Pubs said:

“Publicans up and down the country have been working extremely hard preparing their pubs to be able to safely welcome back customers. Their first priority is the safety of customers and staff and pubs that can open have spent time and money making adaptations to be able to operate safely and within the Government rules and guidelines. We welcome the fact that many if not all pubs can begin to serve their local communities again and publicans look forward to welcoming their customers. We hope people will come out and support pubs again, safely and sensibly and showing the same commitment to following the rules as our hardworking publicans are and then over the coming weeks we can see our pubs getting back on their feet and playing the unique role they do in our society”.

“With the unacceptably short notice pubs and brewers were given, it has been a huge challenge for those pubs that are able to reopen now, but others will be opening over the coming weeks and some cannot profitably trade at all with social distancing in place. So with all pubs still facing restricted trade, there is a need for ongoing support from the sector and the Government. We have also made clear that the Government should have allowed pubs to first reopen on a weekday and with reasonable time to get prepared. Having pubs opening for the first time on a Saturday is unhelpful, but publicans that can open will do so safely and responsibly and those that cannot will do so when they are ready, but we need more common sense and more support going forward.”

Commenting, Paul Crossman, Chair of the Campaign for Pubs and licensee of 3 pubs in York said:

“Small business publicans have faced a difficult decision since the new guidelines were finally published by government just ten days ago. The short time period has put them and their staff under enormous pressure, but many have made a monumental effort in order to be ready and are looking forward to welcoming customers back tomorrow. Others have sadly not felt it possible to reopen at this time, especially smaller community pubs with very limited space. We hope circumstances will allow them to open soon, so they can join what will need to be a concerted and united national effort by both pubs and customers to get our pubs back trading safely within their communities once more”.

Commenting, Phil Saltonstall, MD of Brass Castle Brewery and Brewer Coordinator for the Campaign for Pubs said:

“If you’re not planning to head to the pub or taphouse this weekend, please do continue to support your local publicans and breweries, by making use of the takeaway food and off-sales that many are continuing to provide.  We shouldn’t forget that while many small businesses will not feel able to open their doors to the public just yet, they are still supporting their communities with special deliveries and services”.

Dawn Hopkins, Vice-Chair of the Campaign for Pubs and licensee of the Rose, Norwich said:

“I will be opening my pub on July 4th, I am fortunate that my pub is able to accommodate social distancing, but not all pubs can, and not all pubs will be opening. Getting everything ready in just 11 days has been exceedingly difficult, but I, like publicans up and down the country, are committed to making our pubs safe and welcoming for our customers.  It’s been a long time for our communities to be without their hubs, and for our publicans to be without income, but I am hopeful we will see a steady return to pubs, especially when the public see the huge effort that has been made to follow the guidelines and provide a safe environment for their customers. I’m very much looking forward to welcoming my friends and customers back to the pub.”