LONDON: Almost three quarters of UK pubs and restaurants expect to shut permanently next year following damaging coronavirus restrictions, an industry poll indicated on Thursday.
The British Beer and Pub Association, the British Institute of Innkeeping and UK Hospitality said in a statement that 72 per cent of surveyed businesses “expect to become unviable and close in 2021.”
The survey, conducted by market research company CGA, also showed that pubs and other hospitality businesses want the UK government to provide more support.
CGA polled 446 businesses representing more than 20,000 venues nationwide during November.
“The evidence is here to see of the devastating, long-term impact the government’s restrictions are having on hospitality and pub businesses,” the three trade organisations said in a statement.
“Without a change in approach and more support from government, much of our sector could be gone within a year – that means businesses and jobs lost plus much-loved venues closed forever.”
English pubs temporarily closed their doors on Nov 5 as the country effectively shut down for the second time this year to try to curb spiking Covid-19 infection rates.
The current lockdown has also shuttered restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops and services until Dec 2, with hopes business could resume in time for Christmas.
To help cushion the blow, the government has rolled out a new multi-billion-pound support package by extending its furlough jobs scheme paying the bulk of workers’ wages until the end of March. – AFP