The UK government’s ‘winter plan’ means pubs can trade for the winter, but its ‘plan B’ measures and Covid passports still threaten disaster.
Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement at a press conference yesterday, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) called the winter plan “very good news” to learn that “the powers to shut down or to apply restrictions to our ads will be repealed â. .
However, the trade association said it was concerned that asking people to work from home under ‘plan B’ would have an impact on the recovery of the sector, especially bars in downtown pubs. city, stressing that the sector also still needed vaccine passports to be totally excluded.
âCitizens across the country sigh with relief knowing they have stability to continue negotiating through the winter months,â said Emma McClarkin, CEO of BBPA, adding: âPlan B measures suggesting work homes are of concern as they would have an impact on the recovery of our industry – especially city center pubs – if implemented. It is also essential that Covid certification continues to be excluded for pubs in the framework of any future project. “
Also responding to government plans, UKHospitality Managing Director Kate Nicholls recalled how “it is essential for the recovery of the hospitality sector and the wider economy that businesses are allowed to continue. to operate in viable conditions throughout this winter “, explaining that” the reception centers are still in a fragile state with significant debts, taking their first steps on the road to recovery and rebuilding shattered balance sheets; over the next few months will lead to more business closures. â
Nicholls warned: âWe must warn the government that the introduction of these measures which are left in reserve for this winter would have significant and drastic impacts on the sector. The use of vaccine passports, logistically impractical and of questionable effectiveness, will have a devastating effect on nightclubs and large-scale events. These sectors were hit the hardest and were at the back of the queue for reopening and such measures would seriously compromise their profitability and their ability to recover during the winter months. Likewise, working from home or counseling would have a significant impact on our inner cities and inner cities, not only damaged by restrictions and forced closures, but also by a significant reduction in footfall. “
Figures from the Licensed Trade Charity (LTC) released this year revealed that the number of people requiring its services more than tripled in 2020, compared to the previous year. In 2019, a total of 23,020 people requested the association’s help. Last year, that number was 73,171.
The BBPA also recently revealed that 2,000 pubs have closed for good and some Â£ 8.2bn in beer sales have been lost due to closures and restrictions in the hospitality industry.