Pubs across England are preparing to open their doors from Monday as indoor trading resumes, but the industry body has warned that ongoing social distancing restrictions will force 2,000 to remain closed.
The British Beer and Pub Association said today that 45,000 venues will reopen next week, serving around 3m pints, as punters flock back to their locals.
But the organisation warned that ongoing Covid restrictions, including 1 metre social distancing, compulsory masks and table service, mean many will still be unable to break even.
Even for those pubs that are able to reopen indoors, the coronavirus rules mean beer sales will be down by an estimated 65 per cent -or 1.6m pints- compared to pre-pandemic levels, the BBPA said.
Meanwhile five per cent of pubs will remain closed, amounting to 2,000 venues, due to space restrictions that do not allow for safe social distancing.
Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said today that the pub chain, which is preparing to reopen around 2,500 more pubs from Monday, will not be profitable until all restrictions are lifted, which will be from 21 June at the earliest.
“Next week is really important for us and the next step of us rebuilding our business and rebuilding the sector,” he told the BBC.
“We won’t be profitable, we know that from last time, with the restrictions that we will have on Monday and 21 June becomes really key to us about lifting all restrictions but we’re very happy to have people back.”
“Most businesses will be at about break even and what we need to get back to is profitability so we can start to invest in our business again to start creating jobs again, which our sector is very good at,” he added.
“About 50 per cent of our employees are under 25 so it is really important that we get those jobs back up and running for the economy as a whole.”