According to a survey carried out by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) earlier this week, only 12,600 British pub owners said they would attempt to reopen immediately after the second lockdown in England was lifted.
Much of England emerged from lockdown yesterday into tightened Tier 2 and 3 restrictions.
Hospitality venues in Tier 3 areas must remain closed except for takeaways, while pubs and bars in Tier 2 are only able to open if they can serve 'substantial meals'.
The BBPA says the findings of its survey highlight just how much the pub sector expects to be unviable under the new tier restrictions.
Research by the trade body also found that pubs in England will receive three times less financial support than pubs in Wales, with the average English pub grant payment over the next six weeks just £3,400, compared to the £11,300 Welsh pay-out package.
Some pubs in Wales, based on employee numbers, will be eligible for considerably more than £11,300, whilst the total that pubs in England are entitled to is between £3,000 and £5,500 over the same six-week period.
The BBPA says this shows how ‘meagre’ the Prime Minister’s one-off £1,000 payment to pubs is.
It says unless the tier restrictions change, the Prime Minister needs to provide both pubs and the breweries that supply them in England with far greater support like that being offered to those in Wales.
Having invested £500 million in safety measures to ensure they are Covid-secure, it is ridiculous so many of our pubs are being forced to remain closed unfairly,” say BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin.
“It is clear the meagre £1,000 one off payment for pubs this Christmas isn’t going to be anywhere near enough to save those who simply cannot open or are completely unviable because of Government restrictions.
“Pubs in Wales rightly look set to receive at least three times more in grant support than pubs in England. This is a closer reflection of the real level of costs that pubs will incur under these tight restrictions this Christmas. The prime minister’s £1,000 one-off payment is an insult to pubs on their knees in England. He can and must do better.”