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13th July 2021

Pubs and brewers welcome ‘Freedom Day’, enabling 2,000 more pubs to reopen with lifting of restrictions

But BBPA warns that investment is needed in sector as well as clarity on guidance  

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing both brewers and pubs, has today welcomed confirmation that restrictions on pubs in England, including one metre plus social distancing and table service only, will be lifted on July 19th.  

The trade association says the lifting of restrictions on July 19th – ‘Freedom Day’ – will enable 2,000 more pubs to reopen that have remained shut because they cannot viably operate under restrictions.    

After nearly 18 months of forced closure or operating under heavy restrictions, the BBPA has warned that investment from the Government in pubs and breweries is now crucial as they begin their recovery on July 19th when restrictions are lifted. 

To do this it is supporting and promoting the newly launched Long Live The Local campaign. The campaign is urging the Government to invest in the sector so it can drive the economic recovery by reforming VAT, beer duty and business rates, reducing the unfair tax burden pubs and breweries face. 

The BBPA also said it had concerns over updated guidance expected to be published soon for the sector by the Government, stating that pubs and brewers needed clarity as soon as possible on guidance and that it must not be used to apply restrictions on pubs ‘via the backdoor’.    

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:  

“After nearly 18 months of closure or heavy restrictions, ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday 19th July is a huge milestone for our sector. 

“It means our beloved locals can properly reopen and operate as they are meant to do so. A pint on ‘Freedom Day’ is going to be all the more special! 

“We anticipate some 2,000 more pubs could reopen from July 19th. These are pubs that were unable to reopen and operate viably because of the restrictions. 

“The recovery of our sector is just beginning with the last 18 months practically being written off for them. Having been one of the worst hit sectors by lockdown, our pubs and brewers now need the Government to invest in them by reforming VAT, beer duty and business rates to reduce the unfair tax burden they face and aid their recovery. We urge people who want to help their local and see it thrive to support the Long Live the Local campaign and sign the petition at With the right investment, the brewing and pub sector have a vital role to play in building back better in communities across the country. 

“We do have concerns over guidance for the sector, expected to be published soon, as restrictions are lifted. We await the detail of this but are resolute that any new guidance must not be used to impose unnecessary and unfair restrictions on pubs via the backdoor – resulting in ‘Freedom Day’ for pubs being in name only.” 

Press release from BBPA