Less than half of England’s pubs to re-open on 12th April
New figures suggest that just 40% of pubs will have the outdoor space available to reopen as some restrictions in England ease on 12th April, while hospitality industry chief says that are open will be “making a loss”.
There are about 37,500 pubs in England that could potentially open outdoors from April 12th, but just 40% of those roughly at 15,000, have a big enough outdoor space or beer garden to welcome back punters for a drink or will be financially viable, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).
Emma McClarkin, BBPA chief executive, told BBC Breakfast that being outdoors will be “a huge restriction on capacity” and that guidance which does not even allow payments to be made indoors is a factor which will “complicate how we will serve people in venues”. Businesses have described these obligations as obstacles as they try to reopen and get back to trading as normal.
She said, “We know that pubs will be loss-making until all restrictions are removed. There will still be detrimental economic impacts from the introductions of these new processes and yet we haven’t been consulted fully on them.”
Under the new guidance all customers will need to sign into the pub on entry, rather than just one member of the group as was previously the case. This will add more confusion and inconvenience for customers and staff, according to the BBPA.
Office for National Statistics figures showed that payroll worker numbers had fallen by 693,000 since February 2020. More than half of this fall – 368,000 jobs – were lost in the hospitality sector as lockdowns and restrictions hammered the industry, according to the figures.
In a joint statement, the BBPA, UK Hospitality and the British Institute of Innkeepers trade bodies have written to the Government, stating: “Pubs will already be trading at a loss when they reopen with all the existing restrictions and Covid-secure measures in place.
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Written by Luke Harris