More than 50 pub bosses and executives have signed a letter warning of potential job losses and asking for greater transparency ahead of the Government’s latest Coronavirus measures coming in to force next week.
The letter states that “The pub is clearly being singled out for exceptionally harsh and unjustified treatment and unless your government changes course, and soon, huge portions of this most British of institutions will simply not be there come the spring. We believe it is in the interests of openness and transparency that any evidence showing pubs to be the source of outbreaks of the virus, and thereby justifying these extra restrictions, must be published immediately.”
There has been concern within the hospitality sector regarding the Government’s Coronavirus strategy since the 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants was announced in September. This was only compounded when the latest national lockdown was announced which meant the closure of pubs, restaurants and non-essential businesses. In a recent study by the Office for National Statistics, more than a third of hospitality businesses said that they have little or no hope of surviving the next 3 months.
In the letter, breweries, pub bosses and business owners spell out their frustrations towards the Government. Executives from breweries such as Shepherd Neame, Fullers, Greene King and Young’s are among the signatories who say, in their letter, “Your Winter Plan, compounded by the Christmas announcement, have been greeted with utter dismay and incredulity by publicans up and down the country, and made the situation facing us exponentially worse. How can it be that people mixing in unregulated private homes is deemed safer than gathering in limited numbers in larger, regulated and ultimately Covid-secure venues like pubs? There is no logic to this decision. It is clear that pubs are being scapegoated despite a lack of available evidence that they are any more responsible for outbreaks than other types of venue. We cannot stand idly by and allow these measures to destroy our businesses.”
A spokesperson for the government has said that a response will be made in due course.