Most pubs WON'T reopen on April 12, industry bosses warn

Most pubs WON’T reopen on April 12: Industry bosses warn 60% of boozers will not welcome back customers because they won’t have enough space

  • British Beer and Pub Association says 75% of pubs have garden or outside space
  • But only 40% of venues have one large enough to be able to make enough cash
  • Therefore, it estimates that only 17% of pubs will welcome back customers 

The majority of pubs will not reopen on April 12 because they do not have enough outside space to make it financially viable, industry bosses have claimed. 

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) says that while 75% of UK pubs have a beer garden or outside space, only 40% of venues enjoy one that is large enough.  

Therefore, it estimates that only 17% of pubs will welcome back customers and that limited capacity and unpredictable weather could leave many businesses struggling to break even. 

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) says that while 75% of UK pubs have a beer garden or outside space, only 40% have enough room

‘This would result in a loss of turnover to the sector of £1.5bn when compared to trading in normal times. That is far from reopening and recovering,’ said Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA

‘Even if some pubs did try and open outdoors only in April, all it would take is some heavy rain and they would find it has all been for nothing.

‘For many pubs, gardens are at the back and the only way to access them is through the inside. And of course, toilet facilities would still need to be provided.

‘We question the government’s thinking behind this and suggest they consult with us as a sector on it.’

The association wants pubs to be able to re-open fully, inside and outside, when non-essential retail is allowed to open alongside beer gardens on April 12

It comes amid a continuing row over vaccine passports, which could be used to decide who is allowed to go inside pubs when they open under the rule of six on May 17. 

Trials of vaccine passports could begin as soon as next month, with theatres and stadiums lined up to pilot the controversial scheme. 

It estimates that only 17% of pubs will welcome back customers and that limited capacity and unpredictable weather could leave many businesses struggling to break even. File photo 

The passports could also be used eventually in pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas. 

Pilot schemes will begin after work is completed on an updated version of the NHS Covid app which will let users prove they have been vaccinated.

The plan is a sign Boris Johnson will give vaccine passports the go-ahead on Monday, when he is due to report the interim results of a study led by Michael Gove.

But their introduction is certain to trigger a huge political row. Last night 72 MPs – including libertarian Tories and senior Labour figures – issued a joint statement branding vaccine passports ‘divisive and discriminatory’ and vowing to oppose them.

This threatens a major headache for the Prime Minister if he needs legislation to bring the scheme in.

The Mail can also reveal that Mr Johnson’s ‘roadmap’ for lifting almost all restrictions by June 21 could now be dependent on a functioning vaccine passport programme.

One Whitehall source last night admitted it is vital if the Government is to hit its target of ending all social distancing this summer.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister dropped a further hint he has come round to the idea, saying vaccine passports could help to provide ‘maximum confidence to businesses and customers’.

He stressed any scheme would also allow people to show a negative test result or proof they already have Covid antibodies.

Speaking on a visit to Middlesbrough, the PM said vaccine passports now looked inevitable for foreign travel. 

But he suggested they would also have a ‘useful’ role to play domestically.       

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