Pubs and Bars

BBPA urges government to confirm date for pub reopenings

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has urged the government to confirm a definitive date when all pubs can re-open as well as publish the final safety guidelines the sector needs to be ready for reopening.

The government’s roadmap indicated pubs would be able to re-open from 4 July.

The BBPA said it has “consistently asked” for at least three weeks to notify staff that they will need to return from furlough, clean pubs ready for re-opening, brew fresh beer and get them in their cellars ready to be served upon re-opening.

In order to help “save the summer” and help “kickstart the economy”, the beer and pub industry has begun its preparations for re-opening, to ensure as many pubs as possible will still be able to re-open from 4 July if the government gives the go-ahead for it to happen.

The BBPA also revealed that preparations have also been made by the beer and pub sector to get rid of old beer from pub cellars.

It said this is a critical part of getting pubs ready to re-open as the beer in casks and kegs that has spoilt in pubs needs to be destroyed, freeing up the kegs and casks so they can go back to brewers and be refilled with fresh beer. 

Under two metres social distancing, only a third of the UK’s pubs will be able to reopen. Under one metre, 75% could reopen. 

The BBPA added that it continues to press the government to adopt the WHO’s one metre for social distancing, which has also been used in countries including Denmark, France, Singapore and Hong Kong successfully as they reopen and recover.

Emma McClarkin, CEO of the BBPA, said: “The government hasn’t given us yet the clear and definitive decision we need on whether pubs can reopen on July 4  as referenced in their roadmap. We have made it clear, our sector needs at least three weeks notice in order to get ready to re-open – that deadline is 13 June. 

“The situation has left us with no choice but to take the initiative and lead the preparations to get pubs ready to re-open and get Britain brewing again. In order to help ‘save the summer’ and kick start the economy, we are cracking on with our preparations to ensure our pubs will be ready to reopen from 4 July  in the hope that the government sticks to their roadmap plan.”

She added: “To do this we are starting to brew our beer now and develop operational plans so that pubs can open safely and serve great food and fresh draught beer. We still urgently need clarity though on the social distancing guidance. 

“We have made it clear that 75% of the UK’s pubs will be able to reopen under one metre social distancing rules – the safe distance advised by the WHO. Only a third could reopen under two metres.”

McClarkin concluded: “The government must make a clear decision on this immediately, as it will have a huge impact on those pubs who can start to get ready to re-open, and will ultimately ensure many more can reopen. We hope clarity on this will be included in the government’s finalised guidelines expected imminently.”

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