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Pub sector writes to PM demanding definitive reopening date

The pub industry has warned that “hundreds of thousands” of jobs could be at risk within the next 48 hours if the government fails to provide a “firm” reopening date for all pubs.

According to the BBPA, the CEOs of leading brewers and pub operators wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday demanding that he confirms a date by today (19 June). 

The sector warned the industry has now reached a “crisis point” and needs a “definitive date on when exactly all pubs can reopen”, so they can ready their pubs ready for reopening and ensure breweries can brew fresh draught beer.

The BBPA said: “Without this certainty by the end of this week, many businesses in the sector will be forced to cut costs to ensure their survival through the extended period of financial uncertainty. This could result in hundreds of thousands of job losses and permanent pub closures.”

The news comes as the BBPA also revealed that the pub and brewery businesses are “burning through” £100m every month in cash whilst they remain closed.

It warned that unless pubs can reopen from 4 July, changes to the Job Retention Scheme could cost pubs a further £120m.

It said these costs could “tip many pubs over the edge unless they are given clarity and confidence on when exactly they can reopen”. 

While many pubs are preparing for a 4 July reopening, the BBPA said it is “vital that they have more certainty around what that date actually represents”. 

It added: “They are having to commit millions of pounds preparing their staff and venues for reopening, and to ensure customers are confident to return to them, despite a lack of confirmed guidance from the Government for them to follow.” 

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Britain’s 47,000 pubs and 2,000 brewers have reached a critical moment and need a definitive date on when pubs can reopen.

“Our sector is burning through £100m a month just trying to survive with no cash coming in. That is simply not sustainable. We need a date now to give us confidence and clarity on when we will reopen.”

She added: “Without a confirmed date for reopening, our sector is going to have to make some big decisions this week on furloughed staff and when reopening is feasible, with a further wave of redundancies likely. Hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost.

“Our message to the Prime Minister is clear: stop keeping our sector in limbo. Give us the clear date we need for reopening, so our great British pubs can be ready to return and support our communities and the economy once more.”

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