Pubs bosses slam ‘delay in easing lockdown’ in fresh industry body blow

Pub bosses have reacted with fury to the news the easing of the coronavirus lockdown is set to be delayed.

The stricken industry was looking forward to serving customers without restrictions with a full exit from lockdown pencilled in for Monday, June 21.

But now that date looks like being postponed by four weeks by Boris Johnson, with the Prime Minister set to confirm the plans at a press conference at 6pm on Monday.

Prominent publican Adam Brooks, who runs The Owl in Loughton, Essex, and The Three Colts in nearby Buckhurst Hill, launched a stinging tirade against the government with landlords, pub workers and punters anticipating seeing the light at the end of the tunnel fade.

Adam got the hashtag #ImDone trending on Twitter as a reference to his frustration that lockdown looks set to rumble on, while he headed to London on Monday to protest.

Referring to the news Mr Johnson is set to make an announcement about the delay, he wrote: "Well well well, he really is making one of the biggest mistakes this country will ever make. Don't underestimate the consequences.

"I'll be in London tomorrow, firstly for my own head.

"I need to know I'm doing all I can against this delay & future restrictions.

"I need to try & defend an industry that my father lost his life in & defend the rights of my children."

The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The delay will mean indoor groups in pubs and restaurants will still be limited to six people or two households, while pubs will also miss out on crucial Euro 2020 business.

International football tournaments are traditionally one of the biggest money-spinners for the nation's pubs but the restrictions will have an impact on the coffers.

The British Beer & Pub Association predicted the current restrictions will have resulted in a £3 million loss of revenue to English pubs for the Three Lions' game with Croatia on Sunday.

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This is equivalent to one million fewer pints being poured.

The trade association's chief executive Emma McClarkin said: "The current restrictions on pubs do mean the experience isn't going to be the same.

"No standing and limits on group sizes, as well as social distancing, are going to severely reduce the number of people who can enjoy the game in the pub.

"Because of this, we expect pubs to sell one million pints less than they would have done without restrictions.

"That will cost our pubs £3 million on Sunday alone. Given our pubs have been closed or faced restrictions for more than a year, every little helps and is critical to our recovery and survival."

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