Due to the two lockdowns across the country, the industry warned beer sales were down by £7.8billion last year– 56 percent. If the Prime Minister does not set an end to the lockdown, industry leaders and business owners have warned they face annihilation. Mr Johnson is set to outline his lockdown exit strategy on February 22 but the British Beer and Pub Association have urged the Prime Minister to provide a timeline before then.
Such is the dire straight of affairs facing pubs and bars, The Alexandra pub in Penge, South London has been forced to seek support from locals.
Co-owner of the pub Jozef Kubis claimed the restrictions were crippling the industry and has called on the Government to offer more help for small businesses.
He said: “It’s a destruction of the hospitality industry.
“This continues lockdown is hammering the pub industry and my business.
“My businesses has been suffering so much that I haven’t been able to pay VAT since March 2020.
“Grants and government coronavirus funding to support our business are very difficult to get, the process is not clear.
“We as an industry are doing everything. The Government have been focusing on larger cooperations rather than smaller local businesses like ourselves.
“With the Government restrictions, it is impossible to run a pub.”
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In a report from the Resolution Foundation, figures showed pub beer sales were 77 percent lower in the last three months of 2020 than 2019.
Sales in the second quarter of 2020 were down by 96 percent year on year.
Although scientists have warned schools may reopen next month, Dr Marc Baguelin from Imperial College London, stated reopening the hospitality sector could put even more pressure on the NHS.
The Prime Minister stated one in four people have been vaccinated as the Government aims to offer jab to all those over 50 by spring.
Even doing so could mean the majority of the country would not be fully protected.
Commenting on the uncertainty surrounding the sector, Philip Whitehead, Chairman of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “This is not sustainable for our sector.
“We cannot continue to hold out under these circumstances.