Lockdown 2.0 – what it means for pubs

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Lockdown 2.0: the rules of the second lockdown
Lockdown 2.0: the rules of the second lockdown

Related tags Coronavirus lockdown Legal Legislation Boris johnson Emma McClarkin Bbpa ukhospitality

Pubs will close again for at least one month in England’s second national lockdown set to go ahead on Thursday 5 November.
  • Lockdown comes into force at 12.01am on Thursday 5 November
  • Pubs will close their doors for one month on Wednesday night at 10pm in line with the current curfew
  • The rules will be relooked at on Wednesday 2 December when the lockdown could be lifted
  • Lockdown could be extended beyond Wednesday 2 December
  • Spring’s furlough scheme – the taxpayer covering 80% of salaries​ – will come back
  • Furlough to replace the 'hybrid' Job Retention scheme​ for a month
  • Government is releasing £1.1bn of taxpayer’s money to support closed businesses
  • Pubs can offer food takeaways and deliveries
  • Alcohol takeaways were first said to be banned, however, following a U-turn the Government allowed pre-ordered drinks takeaways
  • The lockdown isn’t as strict as the first one in spring

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation in a televised conference on Saturday 31 October outlining his Government’s plans to implement an England-wide national lockdown​ in a bid to stem coronavirus infections and deaths.

As a result, all “non-essential” businesses such as pubs, bars restaurants leisure facilities and retailers not selling food or hardware will be forced to close.

Schools, colleges and universities, however, will remain open despite much criticism from experts and industry bosses of the number of cases of coronavirus infections within education settings. Teaching unions also called for schools to be closed.

Johnson said he would put his plans up for a vote in Parliament today (Monday 2 November) and if passed the lockdown will be enforced from 5 November.

In his address Johnson said: “I’m afraid no responsible Prime Minister can ignore the message of those [scientific] figures.

The cost of these restrictions

“We know the cost of these restrictions, the damage and the impact on jobs and livelihoods and on people’s mental health and no one wants to be imposing these measures anywhere.

“Now is the time to take action because there is no alternative and from Thursday until the start of December you must stay at home.

“Non-essential shops, leisure will close. Pubs, bars and restaurants will close unless for takeaway and delivery services.”

During the address the Prime Minister did say a national lockdown was something his Government had tried to avoid, saying closing a part of England where infections were low was something he did not want to do.

However, mounting pressure from Government advisors and scientists, as well as from the opposition, resulted in a second national lockdown.

Although there is furlough and cash grant support from the taxpayers, industry bodies lashed out at the decision​ made on Saturday, calling for the same levels of support for pubs that were given in spring.

Fearful for their future

British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “As a sector we are of course devastated to have to close our pubs and are fearful for their future, but we recognise the situation and that the spread of Covid-19 is serious.

“Make no mistake, this could be the final straw for thousands of pubs and brewers. It will also create major disruption to our supply chain partners whose businesses are now also at severe risk.

“The level of financial support will need to be same, if not greater, than that provided for the first lockdown earlier this year. This means grants for all pubs sufficient to cover ongoing fixed costs, and compensation grants for Britain’s brewers who will also be permanently devastated by the lockdown.”

A spokesperson from UKHospitality said: “The sector was hit hardest and first, and this recent shutdown will hurt for months and years to come.

“The extension of furlough for a further month does help to protect our workforce during this difficult time.

“If hospitality, the sector that is our country’s third largest employer, is to survive and help drive economic recovery, it will need equivalent – or more – support than that of the first lockdown.”

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