Just 27% of pubs in Britain were able to attempt reopening today (2 December), with many fearing they could close again in less than a week if they are unviable under tier 2 restrictions.

According to a survey by the British Beer and Pub Association earlier this week, only 12,600 British pub owners said they would attempt to reopen immediately after the second lockdown, with many operators suggesting the new tier 2 restrictions could render their business unviable.

The trade body also found that pubs in England will receive three times less financial support than pubs in Wales, with the average English pub grant payment over the next six weeks just £3,400, compared to the £11,300 Welsh pay-out package.

Some pubs in Wales, based on employee numbers, will be eligible for considerably more than this, whilst the total that pubs in England are eligible for, as outlined in the prime minister’s announcement yesterday, is between £3,000 and £5,500 over the same six-week period.

According to the BBPA, the disproportionate level of support shoes how “meagre” Johnson’s one-off £1000 grant to pubs is, adding that unless the tier restrictions change, far greater support will be needed.

“Having invested £500 million in safety measures to ensure they are Covid-secure, it is ridiculous so many of our pubs are being forced to remain closed unfairly,” said BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin.

“It is clear the meagre £1,000 one off payment for pubs this Christmas isn’t going to be anywhere near enough to save those who simply cannot open or are completely unviable because of Government restrictions.

“Pubs in Wales rightly look set to receive at least three times more in grant support than pubs in England. This is a closer reflection of the real level of costs that pubs will incur under these tight restrictions this Christmas. The prime minister’s £1,000 one-off payment is an insult to pubs on their knees in England. He can and must do better.”