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Gloucestershire Business News

Fresh warning tiers could ring time for pubs

More than 30,000 pubs will be forced to remain closed or become unviable after all but a few isolated parts of England were placed in tier two and three restrictions from next week.

Tier two pubs, including those in Gloucestershire will only be able to open and serve drinks with substantial meals while those in tier three are restricted to takeaway and delivery services.

And the British Beer & Pub Association said the restrictions, which will replace the existing England lockdown from December 2, said the measures will have catastrophic consequences for four in five pubs.

What does tier two mean for Gloucestershire? 

It said 16,454 pubs will be forced to shut in tier three while 13,920 of 21,091 in tier two will be unable to open because they do not serve substantial meals or opening would be financial unviable under ongoing restrictions.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: ""With 99 per cent of the country under tighter tier two or tier three restrictions, there will be carnage unless the Government acts immediately.

"Pubs face full closure if they are drinks led or in tier three. We need the Government to recognise the impact of these restrictions and urgently provide more financial support."

She continued: "We cannot overstate how serious the situation is currently facing our staff, communities and businesses. The future of hundreds of breweries, thousands of pubs and tens-of-thousands of jobs hangs in the balance.

"The focal point of countless communities in every region of the UK could be lost forever, the social consequences of that do not bear thinking about."

The association's warnings have been echoed by the bosses of several leading pub chains, many of whom have signed a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for greater support.

Marston's chief executive Ralph Findlay said: "In early July, we were credited for having opened safely and responsibly.

"Since the end of September, the UK Government has leaked, launched and layered a labyrinth of legislation on pubs, and pubgoers and our employees are paying a heavy price.

"This latest plan smacks of the fog of politics and the Prime Minister has lost his way."

Trade body UKHospitality said £7.8billion worth of trading is set to be wiped out during December compared to last year.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "We still have not seen any evidence that hospitality venues - which have invested great time effort and money to making their spaces Covid-secure - are a problem area in terms of infection, so it seems unfair and arbitrary that hospitality is being dealt such a harsh hand.

"It is now more vital than ever that the Government provides urgent further financial support for this sector.

"If it does not, we are looking at huge numbers of job losses, businesses permanently closed and the landscape of hospitality in this country fundamentally degraded for the foreseeable future."

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