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Campaign for Pubs comments on the Prime Minister’s announcement of a 4 week delay of unlocking

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

“The continuation of restrictions for at least another four weeks is another kick in the teeth for publicans who are struggling with restricted trade, extra costs and no certainty of when pubs can finally operate as pubs again. It’s like an ongoing nightmare for many and we are very worried about the mental health and well-being of many publicans, who are at the end of their tether and really struggling.

“It’s so disappointing that despite pubs showing again and again that they can safely    operate, that restrictions, including mandatory table service, will remain in place, despite there being no credible evidence to justify it. Table service increases costs and is off-putting for some customers but it is also a huge burden on  publicans and staff, who are exhausted. There’s no justification for banning people from ordering at the bar, whilst allowing  people in coffee shops and cafes and it’s just another example of discrimination against pubs”.

Greg Mulholland, Campaign Director of the Pubs said:

“Here we are yet again with Government making decisions just a week before a key date for pubs and other hospitality businesses, dashing hopes of normal opening, next week which is a body blow for publicans who urgently need to trade normally to get their businesses back on track, finally, after the last awful year.

“For anyone saying that it’s just another four weeks shows a complete lack of   understanding of the situation pubs are in, saddled with thousands of pounds of debt, with significantly reduced trade and higher costs. Yet now many pubs are being faced  with full rent bills and having to paying off debts including bounceback loans, when they can’t even trade normally. The Government must provide more support for as long as they  continue to impose restrictions and must also now delay repayment of bounceback loans and scrap business rates for another six months”.

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