Campaign for Pubs

Campaign for Pubs comments on the Prime Minister’s announcement on the post lockdown ‘roadmap’ for pubs in England

The Campaign for Pubs has responded to the Prime Minister’s statement on the ‘roadmap’ for pubs in England post lockdown. The announcement included pubs being permitted to open outdoors only at first, despite the Government having been clearly told that this is simply unviable for the vast majority of pubs.

The ‘roadmap’ also doesn’t give any certainty for when pubs can open again indoors, as there has to be a series of tests before that can happen. The Prime Minister also failed to announce further support for pubs and publicans, who now know they cannot open normally for nearly five months of the year and still without the certainty needed to be able to plan for the future.

The Government has announced four stages and that English pubs can open outdoors when the Government announces that England can move to stage 2, which will be a minimum of 5 weeks after step 1 and not earlier than 12th April.

Pubs will then only be able to open indoors when the Government announces that England can move to stage 3, which will be at least 5 weeks later than stage 2 and not earlier than 17th May.

The only positive news for pubs is that, as called for by the Campaign for Pubs, there will be no substantial meal rule or curfew when pubs can finally reopen again.

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

“Despite this being the third lockdown and with pubs having been closed for such a huge proportion of the last year, the Government has still not given any certainty for publicans as to when they may be able to finally, properly open their pubs again, which is disastrous for their businesses but also for mental health.

“We all accept the need to control the spread of Covid until vaccinations reach a certain level, but the Government keeps moving the goalposts and it is pubs that are being hardest hit by that. It’s disappointing that today’s announcement was made without any indication of what further support will be provided for pubs to get them through this crisis. The Chancellor must announce this as soon as possible and before the Budget and it must be adequate or there will be many publicans who just won’t be able to continue racking up debts and pubs will start to close”.

Dawn Hopkins, Vice Chair of the Campaign for Pubs & a Norwich publican said:

“Publicans are dismayed that yet again this Government doesn’t seem to understand the reality of the desperate situation for so many publicans, with months without income and for many, mounting debt. Outdoor opening is simply not viable for the vast majority of pubs, so grants must be continued until pubs can open properly again, indoors and without unnecessary rules”.

“The Government needs to urgently announce a proper package of support to get pubs through this crisis, or it will go down in history as the Government that destroyed the Great British Pub”.