BBPA reveals 2,000 more pubs to reopen with lifting of remaining restrictions

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today welcomed the announcement that restrictions on pubs in England, including one metre plus social distancing and table service only, would be lifted on 19 July if the government goes ahead with its roadmap.

The trade association said the lifting of restrictions would mean more than 2,000 pubs that had been forced to stay shut because they couldn’t operate under social distancing and table service only restrictions could reopen.

However, after nearly 18 months of forced closure or operating with heavy restrictions, the trade association warned that the lifting of restrictions would mark only the beginning of the British beer and pub sector’s recovery from COVID-19.

To fully recover and lead the economic bounce back from lockdown as the UK builds back better, the British Beer & Pub Association is urging the Government to invest in the sector by reforming VAT, beer duty and business rates to reduce the unfair tax burden pubs and breweries face.

Emma McClarkin, BBPA's Chief Executive, (pictured) said, “The lifting of all remaining restrictions on pubs in England, if the Government sticks to its roadmap, is hugely welcome for our sector. A pint of beer on July 19th is going to taste all the sweeter!

“After nearly 18 months of forced closure or operating under severe restrictions - which crippled the viability of pubs - July 19th should mark the beginning of the recovery for our sector in England.

“Over 2,000 pubs remained closed because they couldn’t viably operate with social distancing and table service only. Hopefully from July 19th, these pubs will be able to reopen.'

McClarkin continued, “COVID, the lockdowns and restrictions have nearly destroyed our pubs. As they now get ready to reopen as normal once more, the recovery of our sector is only just beginning.

“Having been one of the worst hit sectors by lockdown, our pubs and brewers now need the Government to invest in them by reforming VAT, beer duty and business rates to reduce the unfair tax burden they face and aid their recovery.

“The Brewing and Pub Sector have a vital role to play in building back better in communities across the country. Investment in our sector will help drive the economic bounce back and aid the government with its levelling up agenda.

McClarkin added, 'We also urge the devolved administrations to now follow suit by removing restrictions and ensuring the recovery of the great British pub can start nationwide.”