THE pub sector needs an “absolute minimum” of three weeks to prepare for reopening after the current lockdown, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).
The trade group has said the period immediately after lockdown restrictions are lifted will be “critical for tens of thousands of pubs and their supply chains”.
It reckons a three-week notice period would allow publicans enough time to prepare for reopening, including steps such as giving notice to furloughed staff, ensuring equipment and systems are operating and up to standard and clearing cellars. It would also allow brewers to start re-supplying pubs.
BBPA chief executive, Emma McClarkin, said it is “extremely important that the beer and pub industry are closely consulted on the lifting of the lockdown restrictions when the COVID-19 crisis is over”.
“The reopening process for the pub trade will be enormously hard and it’s imperative the government work with the trade to get it right, else the situation would see even more pubs close,” she said.
“We want to work collaboratively with government to ensure that society and the economy gets back on its feet in a safe and sustainable way once the medical and scientific advice indicates that a reopening is appropriate and with appropriate support in place.
“We believe the pub has a key role to play in this, but re-opening them must be done in the right way, which is why we are leading on these plans to get pubs ready for when the lockdown is lifted.”