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At least three weeks notice needed for pubs to re-open, says trade body

By Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

Pubs will need at least three weeks notice for the lifting of the current lockdown so they can prepare to re-open, it has been estimated.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said brewers will also need this time to scale up brewing operations to start re-supplying pubs and the on-trade with fresh beer.

The time frame would enable pubs to give sufficient notice to furloughed staff that they are required to return to work, ensure equipment and systems are operating and cleaned, and cellars re-stocked.

This would in turn require some relaxation of social distancing measures ahead of a full re-opening so that clearance crews can operate effectively, said the trade association.

The early weeks and months after lockdown restrictions are lifted will be critical for tens of thousands of pubs, and their supply chains, including access to working capital, said the BBPA.

The economic value that Britain’s beer and pub sector provides, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports, will remain in a “precarious position” if the lifting of lockdown for pubs is not handled correctly, it was warned.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “It is extremely important that the beer and pub industry is 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.

“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.”

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