UK Government warned Pubs and Clubs ‘would not survive increased Covid rules’

The UK government has been warned tens of thousands of pubs, bars, and nightclubs will not survive increased coronavirus-prevention measures, such as local lockdowns and evening curfews.

TOWARDS the end of August this year, one in four of the 115,000 licensed premises in Britain had still not reopened due to restrictions imposed to contain Covid-19, according to data obtained from analysis firm CGA and AlixPartners. With concern growing about rising infection rates, the rule of six law came into effect across England today, while Scotland and Wales have their own amended restrictions.

Nightclubs had previously warned they face financial ruin after being excluded from the relaxation of lockdown restrictions that allowed many pubs to open in July. The chief executive of the Night-Time Industries Association, Michael Kill, said: “With no roadmap for reopening or further indication of financial support, it’s causing quite a considerable level of distress and anger. People will have to make some quite drastic decisions,” Kill said. “At some point, there has to be a realisation that there are going to be businesses and jobs lost.”

It is has been revealed that the government is considering limiting pubs with a 9pm curfew if the ‘rule of six’ fails to halt coronavirus spread. A minister insisted they were keen to “give the ‘Rule of Six’ time to have an effect” before taking even more drastic measures. Such a move, if taken, would also infuriate the Treasury who are under mounting pressure to extend the furlough job-saving scheme for Britain’s struggling hospitality sector.

The British Beer and Pub Association called for a sector-specific furlough scheme beyond October as well as extended VAT cuts, business rate relief and a cut to beer duty, which the chief executive, Emma McClarkin, said: “remains punitively high.”

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Tony Winterburn

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