Pubs and Bars

No trade-off needed between pubs and schools, says BBPA

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has refuted claims that a trade-off is needed between pubs and schools, to enable schools to reopen in September.

The trade association has said that the government has made it clear it does not need to nationally close pubs to reopen schools, but that it may limit social contact in some parts of the country to enable schools to reopen.

The BBPA has also reiterated the guidelines and mitigation measures pubs across the whole of the UK have put in place to keep staff and customers safe.

It said across the sector, pubs have invested “significant” work, time and money to ensure they provide a safe environment. No pub has been able to reopen without doing a rigorous risk assessment and implementing measures to keep customers and staff safe. 

This includes putting up screens, enhancing hygiene measures and offering table service. 

Emma McClarkin, CEO of the BBPA, said: “There is no evidence of the efficacy of a trade-off between pubs and schools. The government has made it clear it is not considering the national closure of pubs to reopen schools. It has said it may limit social contact in localities to enable schools to reopen.

“It is important to remember that pubs have been open in England for a month now after investing significant work, time and money to ensure they are a safe environment. No pub can reopen without doing a risk assessment and implementing measures to ensure staff and customers are safe.”

She added: “We are all working hard to restrict the transmission of the virus but careless talk and groundless speculation costs pubs and pub jobs. Our sector is desperately trying to recover and provide a much-needed hub for communities across the UK during these challenging times.”

Earlier this week, the BBPA reported over a third of pubs in the UK have failed to break even after their first month of reopening.

The latest data comes from a survey of its members that was conducted exactly a month after pubs were allowed to reopen on 4 July. 

While 37% of pubs failed to break even, a further 25% of brewing and pub sector businesses said they “didn’t feel their business was sustainable” beyond the end of March 2021.

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