France announced this week its strategy to lift its lockdown, which would see bars and restaurants remain closed for months despite other businesses reopening.
If the UK follows suit, the UK’s pub trade would need a significant amount of additional support to ensure its survival when a full reopening of the country is allowed, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has warned Prime Minster Boris Johnson.
The organisation has urged Johnson to back the pub trade and recognise that more support will be needed specifically for the sector over the coming months, however it decides to lift the lockdown.
Such support is essential to ensure the survival of the trade, so it can reopen when lockdown is lifted and be commercially viable.
Bars and restaurants in France, under the Government’s plans, will have to remain closed until the end of May at the earliest, despite other businesses being allowed to reopen.
Therefore, the BBPA has called on the UK Government to extend financial support packages, furlough schemes and any other support it has so far made available to the sector.
The Morning Advertiser understands there is talk within the Government of extending certain types of support for hospitality businesses, however, that is yet to be clarified.
Back British pubs
BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “We urge Boris Boris Johnson to back British pubs. The sector needs his full support if pubs are going to make it through the Covid-19 crisis.
“The plans announced in France today to lift lockdown measures suggest that pubs, bars and hospitality businesses here in the UK will be among the last to reopen.
“Pubs are unique to the UK but many will be lost if the necessary financial support isn’t in place to help them now and when they reopen. The Government needs to give the guarantees now it will give more specific support to pubs and hospitality businesses.
“Pubs might survive the Covid-19 lockdown but, without additional support to assist them when reopening, many could fall at the last hurdle as we come out the other end of this crisis.”