Ads could be closed for five months due to extended lockdown

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Pubs and bars could face an additional five months of shutdown over fears of social distancing, it has been claimed.
A nationwide lockdown will remain in place until at least mid-February, when progress will be reviewed, but the measures, which include a take-out alcohol ban, are believed to remain in place until the end of March. .

The country is in the throes of a third wave of the virus and on Friday the country recorded the highest number of deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Ads will likely be one of the last businesses to reopen, with government ministers apparently considering the first public holiday in May as a possible reopening date.

A source told The Sunday Times: “The May Day holiday is more likely when you see the pubs reopening. ”

It comes after the take-out pint ban last week as part of the lockdown measures introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Mirror reports.

Alcohol orders can no longer be placed for delivery or take out to pubs and restaurants, which was allowed during the previous lockdown.

This is another devastating blow to the hospitality industry, and it will likely prevent other businesses from staying afloat.

With coronavirus cases continuing to increase in most parts of the country, tightening lockdown rules have not been ruled out.

A toughening of measures could mean curfews, closed nurseries, banned support bubbles, face masks made mandatory in all busy outdoor spaces and exercises limited to one hour.

Ralph Findlay, managing director of the Marston Pub Group, said the government needs to step up and extend the commercial tariff holidays beyond its current end date in April, and cut VAT when the doors finally open again .

“The pub business has been closed for much of the past nine months and remains in a very difficult position,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there have been casualties in the industry and it is vital that the government urgently consider whether to continue supporting pubs as we reopen the economy in the coming weeks.

“Pubs are viable businesses that are part of Britain’s social fabric and make a major contribution to the economy and the communities in which they serve.

“It is vital that they not only survive the crisis in the short term, but are supported to recover and thrive.

“Extending holiday rates and reducing VAT for the rest of the year is a minimum requirement. ”

Earlier this week, the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) said the ban on takeout pints during the lockdown could be the “death knell for many pubs.”

Camra chairman Nik Antona said the Chancellor’s one-time support of up to £ 9,000 for hospitality businesses was’ welcome ‘, but added:’ It is nowhere near enough to cover the costs haemorrhage from pubs and breweries.

“The nationwide lockdown is another devastating blow to an already struggling industry, which closely follows a year of restrictions, curfews and forced shutdowns,” Antona added.

“It is now clearer than ever that the government needs to put in place a new long-term, industry-specific financial support program to help these businesses survive in the months to come.

“While a one-time grant is welcome, it is nowhere near enough to cover the bleeding costs of pubs and breweries that see no end in sight.”

Also responding to the latest lockdown restrictions and financial backing, Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) CEO James Calder said: “This is just the next blow after months of struggling for community pubs and small breweries in England.

“For the first time in lockdown, the government intends to ban take-out alcohol sales, which have been a lifeline for these small businesses.

“Takeout, click and collect and drive-through have helped a lot of people survive until now.

“This policy reversal directly discriminates against small businesses while allowing supermarkets to continue to sell beer from global breweries.”

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