PUBS and restaurants are facing a devastating £7.8 billion loss amid the “carnage” of new the coronavirus tiers, industry chiefs have warned.
Their grim warning comes as Boris Johnson put 99 per cent England under the toughest two Covid tiers from when the current lockdown ends on December 2.
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Tables and chairs stacked outside the Two Brewers Pub at the entrance to Windsor Great ParkCredit: Rex Features
It comes as many as four out of five pubs may not reopen or have been made financially unviable by the new tiers.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the new tier system “will deliver another huge blow to hospitality” and again warned of a million job losses.
“This will see £7.8 billion of trading wiped out compared to last year if the restrictions last all of December,” she said.
This will see £7.8 billion of trading wiped out compared to last year if the restrictions last all of December
“These are safe spaces for people to meet, relax and socialise and the sector is desperate to get staff back to work, open their doors and, in the long term, diminish reliance on the public purse and begin driving economic recovery.”
She said the new tiers will see over 120,000 venues across England placed into Tier 2, where pubs can stay open if they serve “substantial” meals.
But tens of thousands of these maybe forced to close as they are unable to provide a table meal, either physically or financially, she warned.
“This affects the employment of nearly 1.5m people. Under this severe a restriction, 94 per cent of our members say they will be unviable or trading at a loss.”
Her warning was echoed by the British Beer and Pub Association, which said the new restrictions will prevent four of five of England’s 37,500 pubs from reopening or make them financially unviable.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, urged the Government to avoid “carnage” for the sector by stepping in with immediate financial support.
Her warning comes as pub operators Mitchells & Butlers and Fuller, Smith & Turner – which owns All Bar One, Harvester and Browns – said they have cut around 1,650 jobs and suffered millions in losses.
Smaller rival Fuller’s said its total number of employees had been reduced by 20 per cent following about 350 job cuts
Boris Johnson told the nation “your tier is not your destiny – every area has the means of escape”.
He promised that “together we can get through this winter, suppress the virus, and reclaim our lives and all the things we love”.
Closed pubs in Bristol’s King StreetCredit: London News Pictures
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