The British Beer & Pub Association, the trade association representing brewers and pubs, has condemned the government’s proposed plans to reduce restrictions over the Christmas period, labelling them a “mockery” of pubs.
Up to three households will be allowed to meet up during a five-day Christmas period between 23 December and 27 December but they cannot meet in hospitality settings or other entertainment venues.
These plans for Christmas make a mockery of the extra restrictions being placed on pubs and the economic devastation they are facing this Christmas. How can it be that pubs cannot properly open while households can mix in private settings?
The government data has consistently shown that house-to-house transmission is one of the highest, whereas hospitality has accounted for as little as 2% of Covid incidences when open. Pubs are a controlled, safe and regulated environment to socialise in – following all government guidelines and working with NHS track and trace. They are part of the solution for a safe and enjoyable Christmas, not the problem.
It seems the government has chosen to inflict unnecessary pain and irreversible damage on our sector without publishing evidence alongside these decisions. If the government is really going to stop pubs from opening this Christmas then they must be fully compensated. Christmas is the most important time of the year for trade in our sector. This year more than ever. Without it, thousands will not survive the winter unless the government does the right thing and steps in with financial support to help them.Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association