Photo: mnm.all on Unsplash

A ministerial taskforce is to be set up by the Department for Business to plan for re-opening pubs and restaurants safely, the government has said.

The news was welcomed by CAMRA national chairman, Nik Antona, but he added: “It’s clear that some types of pubs won’t be able to open and operate successfully with social distancing measures, and we want the government to pay particular attention to how they can support those pubs to ensure their future survival. 

“Pubs will require ongoing financial support both during lockdown and after restrictions lift, and we look forward to working with the taskforce to ensure clarity and support is outlined in every step of the process.”

The British Beer & Pub Association is already working very closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Its chief executive, Emma McClarkin, said: “In contributing to the taskforce we aim to get pubs on track for re-opening as soon as possible.

“We will be sharing all our intelligence and expertise on the beer and pub sector. We will also provide pubs for pilot testing of new Covid-19 secure guidelines.

“We believe that pubs should only open when safe to do so, but without additional support now — particularly for those who won’t be able to re-open sooner — many more of our nation’s pubs and the brewers that supply them with beer will struggle to survive closure and beyond. We’ll therefore continue to press the government for the ongoing support our sector needs.”

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