Food and DrinkPubs and Bars

Reduction of two metre social distancing rule essential for pubs’ survival, says BBPA

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has urged the government to review the two metre guideline for social distancing ahead of the publication of sector guidance.

According to research by the BBPA, the current position will mean that only a third (12,500) of England’s pubs will be able to re-open, which could leave up to 25,000 pubs closed with “major concerns over when, if ever, they will be able to reopen”.

Under one metre social distancing guidelines, 75% (28,000) of England’s pubs would be able to re-open.

The BBPA said the World Health Organisation has suggested using one metre as a safe measure for social  distancing, and it has been the distance used in many countries including France, Denmark, Hong Kong and Singapore as they have safely reopened their hospitality sectors.

It said not only would the reduction from two metres to one metre enable more pubs to get back on their feet, it would enable those pubs to reopen at a more viable level, giving them more space to operate in and enabling more pub staff to return to work.

Which would “ensure thousands more people employed by pubs across the country would be able to return to work, without fear or worry of losing their job for good”.

The BBPA has also urged Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to adopt the one metre guidelines to ensure consistency and ease of implementation across all pubs in the UK.

Emma McClarkin, CEO of BBPA said no reduction in the two metre social distancing guidelines will “severely restrict” the recovery of the sector.

She said: “The government’s current position will mean only 33% (12,500) of pubs in England will be able to reopen from 4 July. Many pubs will now be wondering when, if ever, can they reopen again – as well as being very concerned about their ongoing financial viability.

“If the position is reviewed and government adopt the one metre social distancing rule, it will give our sector real hope that the government wants to help our breweries and pubs, and the communities they serve, get back on their feet. 28,000 of England’s pubs will be able to reopen and start rebuilding their businesses.”

She added: “Sadly, if no reduction is made before 4th July this could result in devastating pub closures and job losses in communities across England that can be avoided. It’s not too late though for the government to review this, as it’s being suggested they are, and for them to adopt one metre for social distancing. 

“Failing this the government must detail a package of financial support to sustain pubs and brewers through this prolonged period of closure and to help stave off mass job losses.

“I also urge Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to adopt the one metre guidelines to ensure consistency and ease of implementation across all pubs in the UK.”

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