U.K. pub groups warned that businesses in the industry may not survive the stricter coronavirus rules.
U.K. pubs, clubs, bars, and other gig venues face another trouble again as the government’s increased COVID-19 rules took effect on Monday, September 14. Pub owners and unions representing the industry argued that the new restrictions—particularly without financial aid—could impede the industry’s recovery and incur further losses.
The new restriction applies to homes, parks, clubs, restaurants, and pubs.
U.K. pubs worried over stricter rules
Fears of another downturn grew among pub and bar owners after the U.K. government announced its new measure which restricts gatherings of more than six people. But rumors about a possible curfew across the country has particularly intensified their worries as it could impede current trading’s rally.
According to the data provided by AlixPartners and CGA, one in four of 115, 000 licensed venues in Britain are still closed even at the end of August. Bars, clubs, and pubs were asked to shut down temporarily before as an effort to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.
“People are at the limit of their reserves, so any more lockdowns now would be the nail in the coffin of the operators of those small pubs,” Paul Crossman, who runs three pubs in York, told The Guardian.
The owner of Little Angel in Whitby, North Yorkshire also echoed the same concern. He said tighter restrictions could impede businesses’ recovery, particularly that grants from the government are not enough to pay workers.
Clubs before had warned of a possible monetary Armageddon too after the national government excluded such businesses from reopening last July.
Pub groups call for financial support
U.K. pubs and unions called for aid as fears over a looming business and job loss continue to worry them.
The British Beer and Pub Association, for instance, has called for an industry-specific furlough aid beyond October. The group wants extended VAT and beer duty cuts as well.
Hind, who is an ex-Labor parliamentary candidate, also appealed to the government to grant the opposition party’s call for an extended furlough scheme specifically for pubs and clubs.
Furthermore, the chief executive of the Night Industries Association also supports the same sentiment. He then stressed the end of state-funded fiscal aid by the last week of September could incur further losses in the industry.
“With no roadmap for reopening or further indication of financial support, it’s causing quite a considerable level of distress and anger,” Michael Kill said, per The Guardian, and added that eventually, “people will have to make some quite drastic opinions.”