Tuesday, 20 Oct 2020

One third of pubs ‘will be lost in lockdown’ as boss warns 20,000 could shut

Up to 20,000 pubs will be lost across the UK because of lockdown, an industry leader has warned.

Patrick Dardis, the chief executive of Young’s Pubs, said Britain’s drinking establishments are now "safer than a supermarket aisle" after implementing Covid workplace guidelines over the summer but are facing "oblivion".

He says the extension of lockdowns that have been announced across the country this week are “a catastrophe from which the pub trade will never fully recover”.

It comes as the pub industry's second body blow in quick succession dealt by the Government, with the lockdown extension following the “abrupt and entirely pointless 10pm curfew” imposed last month.

And now the UK faces losing up to a third of its beloved pubs because of the pandemic, Mr Dardis warns.

“When pubs were allowed to reopen in July, we estimated cautiously that about 5,000 pubs would not survive,” Mr Dardis wrote in the Daily Mail.

“But after the reckless introduction of the curfew, which predictably killed trade, I doubled this figure to 10,000.

“Now, with regional Tier Two restrictions covering half of England’s population, I think we will lose a third – that’s 20,000 British pubs.”

Mr Dardis said the Government’s move to ban household mixing in pubs in London and beyond would also condemn “hundreds of thousands” of the 1.3 million people who work in the sector to “the scrapheap of unemployment”.

He also pilloried Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suggestion that pub patrons should focus on drinking outdoors, as this was “scarcely a tempting prospect as autumn makes way for the hard chill of November”.

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