The government’s proposed plans to reduce restrictions over the Christmas period make a mockery of pub restrictions, says British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive, Emma McClarkin.
“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. That means grants that fully cover their fixed costs, like during the first lockdown.
“We all need some festive cheer after this tough year — and want we everyone to be able to enjoy a beer in their local pub with family and friends this Christmas, safely. After all, Christmas just won’t be the same if we can’t go to the local.”