The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has outlined a planning process in a bid to help the trade get started again once the “immediate Covid-19 crisis has passed”.
Brewers also need the same time period to scale-up brewing operators to begin supplying pubs and the on-trade with fresh beer again.
This period of time would also mean pubs can give sufficient notice to furloughed staff that they need to return to work as well as ensure equipment and systems are up and running, cleaned to the required standards and organise cellars including the replacement of beer.
Close consultation needed
However, this would need some relaxation of social distancing measures ahead of a full reopening so clearance crews can operate efficiently.
The trade association also said the Government needs to work with the sector to support the necessary preparations to ensure a restart can happen as smoothly, safely and sustainably as possible. Such measures will help ensure pubs survive the early months of reopening, the BBPA claimed.
BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “It is extremely important the beer and pub industry is closely consulted on the lifting of the lockdown restrictions when the Covid-19 crisis is over.
“The reopening process for the pub trade will be enormously hard and it’s imperative the Government work with the trade to get it right, or else the situation would see even more pubs close.”
She added: “We want to work collaboratively with Government to ensure that society and the economy gets back on its feet in a safe and sustainable way once the medical and scientific advice indicates that a reopening is appropriate and with appropriate support in place.
“We believe the pub has a key role to play in this but reopening them must be done in the right way, which is why we are leading on these plans to get pubs ready for when the lockdown is lifted.”
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the sector is in a unique position to begin the rebuilding process, economically and socially, once it emerges and the time is right.
Nicholls added: “It is clear we will only be able to recover if the right plan is in place, the Government understands the scale of the task and opportunities it presents, and the current support is provided – particularly the extension of the job retention scheme to protect jobs and wages.”