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Gloucestershire Business News

Year of pandemic forces 2,000 pubs to shut

A year of coronavirus restrictions and closures have cost UK pubs £8.2billion in beer sales alone - more than two billion pints.

And the British Beer and Pub Association said the losses have forced an estimated 2,000 pubs have been forced to close.

Chief executive Emma McClarkin said: "Our sector has been devastated by Covid-19 and the lockdowns. It has been a year to forget for the Great British Pub.

"Sadly, we still haven't seen the full extent of the damage yet and won't do for some time until things really do back to what life was like pre-Covid."

Pubs are due to be able to reopen outdoors only from April 12 before welcoming customers indoors from May 17 with all restrictions lifted on June 21 - as long as the Government's coronavirus roadmap remains in place.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget provided £2billion of support including grants and furlough support, but the BBPA said long-term investment is required, especially for wet-led pubs.

"While we continue to assess the full damage to our sector, I urge the Government to look at providing more support for our wet-led community pubs who will not benefit from the VAT cut to food in the same way restaurants will," she said.

"Local wet-led pubs have been among the worst affected by the virus so it's important the Government goes that little bit further for them."

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