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24th June 2020

Pubs reopening from 4th July is a welcome first step on long road to recovery

Beer and pub sector welcomes a definitive date for reopening of pubs and decision to adopt one metre plus for social distancing

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing Britain’s brewers and pubs, has today welcomed confirmation from Government that all pubs will be able to reopen from 4th July.

Following a campaign by the trade association, the Government has also announced today that it will adopt the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended one metre social distancing guideline used in many countries across the world, along with other mitigation measures in place.

The BBPA had been urging the Government to provide a clear date for when pubs can reopen along with the publication of guidance so pubs could plan with certainty and clarity for reopening safely. It had said that reducing social distancing for pubs from two metres to one metre would enable 75% of pubs in England  – 28,000 in total – to re-open. Under two metre social distancing rules, only a third of England’s pubs – 12,500 – would have been able to re-open.

The BBPA said the clear and definitive reopening date was a much needed boost to Britain’s beer and pub sector, giving it the certainty and confidence it needed. Although reopening on 4th July as confirmed today will not give the sector the three weeks’ notice it said it needed for reopening, some pubs and breweries had already begun its preparations for reopening – developing plans to ensure the safety of pub customers and staff and brewing fresh draught beer for pubs – which will allow a good number of pubs to be ready on 4th July.

The trade association said that it awaits the publication of guidance for its sector. It said it would be advising its members on how they will follow guidance once published. The trade association reiterated that as an industry brewers and pubs will do everything they can to ensure the safety of their customers and staff and deliver the great pub experience.

The trade association has significant concerns over the collection and storage of personal customer data, but said it will work with Government to develop a practical way to help for the purposes of track and trace.

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

“It’s great to know our pubs will be able to reopen on 4th July. This is an important step for us but it is just the first step on what will be a very a long road to recovery for our sector.

“Whilst the Government hasn’t given us the three weeks minimum notice we asked for to get our pubs ready for reopening, thankfully as an industry we already started our preparations to ensure our pubs were ready to open when we were given the green light.

“It’s great to see the Government adopt the WHO guidance and the examples of many other countries across the world who’ve safely reopened their hospitality sectors using one metre as their safe social distance measure.

“This will enable many more pubs to begin to get back on their feet and will help save thousands of pubs and jobs. We estimate that this decision will enable up to 28,000 pubs to open. It allows pubs more space to operate in, which is a big help from a viability perspective too. I also urge Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to adopt the one metre guidelines to ensure consistency and ease of implementation across all pubs in the UK. We also look forward to hearing from each of them as soon as possible on the definitive dates for when pubs can open in each location.

“We now await the publication of Government guidance for our sector. As an industry we will be doing everything we can to ensure both our customers and staff are safe in our pubs.

“We do have significant concerns over the collection and storage of personal customer data when visiting the pub. We welcome the Prime Minister’s pledge to work with the sector to make this manageable as it poses significant logistical challenges. We will work with Government on how we could help collect data for track and trace purposes.”


For further information, please contact:

David Wilson, Public Affairs Director: 07557 405815

Nick Lawrie, Digital Communications Manager: 020 7627 9156/ 07824 359 013

Notes to editors:

The British Beer & Pub Association is the leading body representing Britain’s brewers and pub companies. The Association is more than a century old and was originally founded as the Brewers’ Society in 1904. Our members account for some 90 per cent of beer brewed in Britain today, and own around 20,000 of the nation’s pubs.