The delay will mean the last of the Covid restrictions will not be removed until July the 19th at the earliest.
Sectoral leaders within the hospitality industry there have said they’re “bitterly disappointed” by the delay to the full reopening of their sector originally set for June the 21st which will cost pubs alone £400 million.
As a result, they’ve urged the Prime Minister to delay the reintroduction of business rates payments, which would cost the sector some £93 million in July alone, by at least three months.
They’ve also called on the Prime Minister to prioritise the additional £1.5 billion business rates support package announced back in March to ensure eligible businesses such as brewers can apply as soon as possible.
The letter to the PM states that around 2,300 pubs have been unable to open at all, “due to a lack of usable outside space and insufficient inside space to make Social Distancing work. Indeed, across the wider hospitality sector, one in four businesses or 26,000 remain closed and average trading for those open is at just 63% of usual trade. At the same time, fixed costs have risen to ensure compliance with the ongoing restrictions. This is untenable.”
According to a spokesperson for the trade bodies, “Our sector is facing one of its toughest periods in its history and this latest delay is yet another setback.
“It’s now absolutely critical that the Government provides our sector with further support – else the recovery of our pubs will be over before they’ve even been given a chance.”