Almost three quarters of firms at risk of closure next year

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Rule change needed: UKH, BBPA and BII urged the Government to relax the ban on household mixing in the second tier and a “modest extension” to the 10pm curfew
Rule change needed: UKH, BBPA and BII urged the Government to relax the ban on household mixing in the second tier and a “modest extension” to the 10pm curfew

Related tags: ukhospitality, British beer & pub association, British institute of innkeeping, Government

Some 72% of hospitality and pub businesses expect to be unviable and close in 2021, a new survey has found.

Research from trade bodies UKHospitality (UKH), the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) consisted of members from all three organisations.

It found the tiered system was particularly damaging to pubs with a quarter (25%) of operators saying they could turn a profit when in trading under tier one restrictions.

More than seven in 10 (76%) said they would be unviable or operating at a loss under tier two measures, a figure that increased to 94% if forced to trade under tier three rules.

Devastating impact

UKH, BBPA and BII urged the Government to relax the ban on household mixing in the second tier and a “modest extension” to the 10pm curfew.

They also want the Government to allow wet-led pubs to reopen in tier three, without having to serve food, providing they follow the other rules. The organisations also want tier one restrictions to be relaxed further.

A joint spokesperson for three bodies said: “The evidence is here to see of the devastating, long-term impact the Government’s restrictions are having on hospitality and pub businesses.

“Without a change in approach and more support from Government, much of our sector could be gone within a year – that means businesses and jobs lost plus much-loved venues closed forever."

Worst of the crisis

They added: “We recognise that local restrictions will need to be based on local risk levels, but to ensure our sector can bring people together properly this Christmas and beyond, and crucially provide them a safe environment to socialise in, we believe the tier system should be fine-tuned. That means relaxing the ban on more than one household in tier two and extending the 10pm hard curfew cut-off point.

“Those pubs and hospitality venues facing tier three restrictions currently have an impossible task of trying to remain viable as businesses.

“In recognition of this, the Government must enable wet-led pubs to reopen in tier three where they do not serve food, as well as significantly enhance the grant support for those businesses not viable across all tiers, but especially those in tier three. This will ensure their very survival so they can reopen once more when we are through the worst of this crisis.”

Related topics: Legislation

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