BBPA responds to Prime Minister’s announcement on social gathering changes and mandatory use of test and trace The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on the changes to social gathering rules that will affect pubs. In his speech, the Prime Minister confirmed that the maximum number of people who can gather together will reduce from thirty to six, although this will exclude single households and support bubbles consisting already of more than six people and some exclusions. The Prime Minister also announced the mandatory use of test and trace by hospitality businesses. Responding to the announcement on the changes to social gatherings, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “It is understandable that the Government are concerned about the recent rise in COVID cases. This concern is recognised by our sector and we will play an active role in helping Government manage this rise in infections by continuing to adhere to the current guidelines as well as embracing the new ones. “It is important to understand that the changes to social gatherings announced today will have an immediate cooling effect on public confidence to go out and visit our pubs. And will have a direct impact on trade that will be felt hard across an industry that is already struggling to get back on its feet. At such a delicate point in our recovery after a steady start this summer, as we head into Autumn and Winter where we expect trade to already slow down, this is very concerning. “With the announcements made today pubs and breweries will need much more support from the Government if they are to survive. An extension on business rates relief, continuation of the VAT cut to food and soft drinks, a sector specific furlough extension and a significant beer duty cut are needed now. These measures, along with the welcomed compensation for businesses closed as a result of local lockdowns announced earlier today by The Treasury, will help pubs survive, protect jobs and ensure they can continue to serve our communities. “Without this support from Government, and a clear message that pubs remain open for business and that the public should support them, our sector is in for a very rough end to an already devastating year. “It fully remains the case that, by following the existing guidelines, pubs remain an entirely safe place for people to meet up at. To reopen every pub had to complete a risk assessment and put measures in place to ensure the safety of customers. With these measures in place, and pubs’ active participation in test and trace, pub goers can rest assured they are safe.” In response to the mandatory participation of NHS test and trace in pubs and hospitality businesses across England, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “As one of the few sectors actively participating in test and trace, pubs have already been fully playing their part to ensure people follow the safety guidelines and contain the spread of the virus. “Our sector will continue to play a leading role in supporting test and trace and all our members and the overwhelming majority of pubs across the UK are already using the test and trace system. In fact, pubs have been commended by Matt Hancock and Public Health England for their diligence and proactivity in working with NHS test and trace in England. “We implore any pub not confident on if they are following the existing or new rules correctly to get in touch with us or one of the many trade associations out there who will be happy to help. “Of course, it is important to remember that pub customers have a key role to play too in following the rules, and this means fully participating with test and trace.”
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: "This announcement came as a surprise, but it is clear that the Government are concerned about the recent rise in COVID cases. We need to fully assess the detail of the new restrictions when the Prime Minister speaks later today. As one of the few sectors participating in track and trace the pub sector has been fully playing it’s part in ensuring people follow guidance to contain the spread of the virus up to this point and we will continue to do so. "The impact of these new announcements can have a cooling effect on public confidence. This restriction comes at a delicate point in our pub recovery after a steady start this summer. We were already worried about levels of trade moving into Autumn and Winter. Pubs will need more support from Government with continued business rates relief, VAT cuts and flexible furlough, as well as a significant cut in beer duty to help them survive, protect jobs and continue to serve communities. We need the Government to send the clear message that pubs remain open for business and the public should continue to support them."
Trade bodies reveal new data showing direct financial benefit to Government of Scheme and boost to hospitality sector Trade bodies the British Beer & Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping and UKHospitality have revealed new data today showing that the Eat Out To Help Out Scheme directly benefitted the Government to the tune of £250 million, whilst also saving thousands of jobs in the pub and hospitality sector. The new data follows figures announced by the Government last week which revealed that a total of 130,000 claims were received for the Scheme equating to a cost of £522 million for the Government, with further claims still to be made. However, with the Scheme directly contributing £250 million in additional revenue for the Government, as well as boosting consumer confidence to go back again and enjoy the hospitality sector going forwards, the scheme has already delivered a significant return. According to the data from the trade associations, the Scheme enabled 200,000 staff in the pub and hospitality sector to come out of furlough early to facilitate the increase in trade generated by the initiative. This alone saved the Government almost £150 million in furlough costs. VAT generated on additional food and soft drink sales from the Scheme generated £30 million for the Treasury and additional sales of alcoholic drinks that accompanied the meals was estimated to have boosted duty and VAT revenues by a further £65 million. The trade bodies said the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme had shown a significant return on investment for the Government, whilst also helping to kick start the long road to recovery of the hospitality sector and the economy as a whole as it returns from lockdown. They said further Government investment in the sector was still needed though to get it through the Autumn months and to help ensure a full recovery into the new year. They called for further Government investment in the sector to boost growth by extending the reduction on VAT rates, reforming Business Rates and cutting beer duty ahead of the next Budget and upcoming Government reviews into Business Rates and Alcohol Duty. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme has clearly been a success for the Government, pubs and hospitality alike. It has saved tens of thousands of jobs, helped with the recovery of the economy and boosted our sector at a much needed time. “Investing in our sector clearly delivers, and we still need further support from the Government if it is to fully recover like we know it can. With the upcoming Autumn Budget, as well as the Business Rates Review, now is an unparalleled time to greatly reduce beer duty, Business Rates and VAT in our sector to give it the significant boost it needs to survive and thrive. Now is the time for the Government to continue investing in our sector to deliver a strong recovery and job security.” Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “Eat Out to Help Out was a shot in the arm for consumer confidence in eating and drinking out of home, right across the country. It gave our businesses the opportunity to showcase the investment they had made to keep customers safe while also making them feel welcome. “As we approach Winter we need to ensure the right support in place to stimulate a more sustained demand. A significant starting point would be to extend the VAT cut, ensuring the business rates holiday is continued next year and getting more of the UK economy back on its feet, including those businesses that remain closed.” Steve Alton, Chief Executive of the British Institute of Innkeeping, said: “Strengthening consumer confidence has been critical to kick-starting the recovery of the hospitality sector, as well as the wider economy. The Government investment in Eat Out to Help Out and reduced VAT has allowed many pubs to start their recovery with a better than expected August trading. “Further Government support will be required building on this investment to ensure pubs are sustainable businesses in the long term.”
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