The introduction of a local lockdown in northern England could destroy pubs and livelihoods in the region, the British Beer & Pub Association has warned.

With growing rumours that a blanket closure on pubs and restaurants could come into force in the North on Monday, the trade body has question the effectiveness of closing pubs in curbing infection rates, and called on government to take evidence-based, proportionate measures.

However, it added that whatever the additional restrictions are, they must be accompanied by significant financial support from the government, which will be crucial if pubs are to survive another period of closure.

With the new Job Support Scheme “not fit for purpose,” the trade body has urged government to provide a comprehensive support package to ensure jobs and pubs are saved in the event of local lockdowns.

“Make no mistake, a local lockdown without immediate additional and adequate support will destroy many pubs,” said CEO Emma McClarkin. “If the government is really going to press ahead with the introduction of further restrictions, it needs to ensure it puts forward an additional and adequate financial package of support for our sector.

“Quite simply, the Job Support Scheme is not fit for purpose to save jobs in businesses facing a local lockdown. Proper measures need to be taken, as they were in the Job Retention Scheme, if jobs are going to be saved. Grants will also be needed for businesses impacted by local lockdowns to survive this period.

“On top of this, our sector across the whole of the UK needs an extension to the VAT cut and business rates holiday, and substantial beer duty cut, if it is to have any chance of a recovery.”

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