Coronavirus news: Pubs face ‘calamity of evictions’ by spring without further support | UK | News (Reports)

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It comes after the Government extended a safety net in the form of an eviction ban this week, but unions warn this is not enough. The British Beer and Pub Association has reportedly warned up to a quarter of pubs in England could close permanently by the spring if no more support is given.

England entered its new tiered system last week, allowing pubs, shops and other establishments to reopen depending on which tier they came under.

However, less than half of pubs in Britain – around 19,000 out of 47,000 – were able to open last weekend due to the ongoing restrictions, has claimed.

Patrick Vallance, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, warned that “keeping people together longer in an indoor environment, where there’s also alcohol, is likely to increase risk”.

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However, he also said there is no “hard evidence” to support the Government’s 10pm pub curfew.

Mr Vallance was asked: “Have we got data that is directly relevant to the UK rules that we are using to feed into what we’re doing with the tiers now?”

He answered: “First of all, I think it’s brilliant that the hospitality sector has adopted those rules and done it really well; that’s really important.

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Neil Staples, landlord of the Crown Inn in Gayton, Norfolk, told he stayed open for just five days but shut because it was “more cost effective”.

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He added: “There were simply not enough people coming in to warrant staying open.”

The urge for more support comes after the UK’s hospitality trade body warned of a “calamity of evictions” unless the Government provides a way to help hospitality businesses get out of Covid-19 debt.

Only a day ago, the Government announced it would extend a ban on evicting commercial tenants from their property until the end of March 2021.

UKHospitality welcomed the announcement, but warned the Government needs to follow up with a “package of recovery measures”.

Otherwise, the trade group warned the Government risked simply delaying evictions until April.

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Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said yesterday of the eviction moratorium: “This is a very welcome respite and it will be crucial in ensuring that more businesses do not fall off an immediate cliff edge.

“Hospitality businesses that have been hammered all year long were staring down the barrel of mass failures and job losses without this.

“If it is to be the final extension to the moratoria, then it is absolutely crucial that it is followed swiftly by a cohesive and comprehensive package of recovery measures from the Government.

“The focus now needs to turn to helping businesses begin to get back towards full strength and trade their way out of danger.”

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