By Alex Glenn • 15 June 2021 • 7:39
Pubs React To 'Grim News' Of Delay To June 21 'Freedom Day' Credit: Pixabay
Pubs React To ‘Grim News’ Of Delay To June 21 ‘Freedom Day’.
Pubs across the UK are reacting to the grim news that the June 21 Freedom Day has been delayed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now delayed the final step of coronavirus restrictions being lifted for a further four weeks. This news though was not a surprise for many as the Delta variant has been spreading rapidly.
Sadly though pub owners believe that this delay will hit trade badly, just when they were getting set to see business improve. Johnson announced that the UK needed to ‘ease off the accelerator’ and ‘save many thousands of lives’.
In a bid to save the roadmap to freedom a new date of July 19 has been set by the Prime Minister.
Speaking to the Metro the landlord of Swindon’s The Rat Trap, Mark Richardson, commented on the setback and explained that: ‘It’s yet another setback. The Government can’t keep hammering the hospitality industry, it has to look at the borders and the way flights have been handled.
‘The pubs have done all they can to make people safe, we’ve invested thousands of pounds in social distancing, hand-sanitising and indoor and outdoor one way systems to keep people safe.
‘It’s reduced our business by 50% and we’ve got the same bills coming in.
‘We’ve got to the point where we’ve had enough.
‘We’re thankful for the help from Rishi Sunak but the support has been gobbled up by the costs of the precautions and lockdowns. The financial support is nowhere near as good as normal trade.’
As the new delay to freedom day will impact on pubs, CAMRA National Chairman Nik Antona, hopes that the government will step up and provide additional financial aid to the sector.
Mr Antona commented that: ‘Confirmation of a delay to the June 21 easing of restrictions is awful news for publicans and means that the Government must immediately announce an additional financial support package today.
‘Just last week, the British Institute of Innkeeping released data showing that one in 10 pubs expect to fail if easing of restrictions was delayed – so roughly four thousand pubs closed to their communities.
‘This is grim news for hard-working publicans across England who have been subjected to unfair and unevidenced restrictions from Government throughout the pandemic.
‘This is also bitterly disappointing for consumers, who are looking forward to a return to the authentic pub experience – with service at the bar and an end to restrictions on group sizes.
‘Pubs matter to people and communities – it would be devastating for Government to let them fall at the very last hurdle.
‘That is why the Government must announce top-up grant funding, extend the furlough scheme and business rates holiday, and do something to fix the rent debt crisis immediately.’
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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