Unless the government reduces social distancing from two metres to one, 25,000 thousand English pubs, or two thirds of the overall total, will be forced to stay closed with no hope of reopening, according to the BBPA.

It said under the existing guidelines, only one third, or 12,500 pubs, will be able to reopen. If the guidelines were reduced to one metre, 75%, or 28,000 of England’s pubs would be able to re-open.

The BBPA said the WHO has suggested using one metre as a safe measure for social distancing, and that one metre is being used in France, Denmark, Hong Kong and Singapore.

“No reduction in the two metre social distancing guidelines will severely restrict the recovery of our sector,” said Emma McClarkin, CEO of the BBPA. “Countless other countries from across the world are using one metre for social distancing as advised by WHO. Why can’t we?

“Many pubs will now be wondering when, if ever, can they reopen again – as well as being very concerned about their ongoing financial viability.

“If the position is reviewed and Government adopt the one metre social distancing rule, it will give our sector real hope that the Government wants to help our breweries and pubs, and the communities they serve, get back on their feet.

“If no reduction is made before 4 July this could result in devastating pub closures and job losses in communities across England that can been avoided.

“It’s not too late though for the Government to review this, as it’s being suggested they are, and for them to adopt one metre for social distancing.

“Failing this the Government must detail a package of financial support to sustain pubs and brewers through this prolonged period of closure and to help stave off mass job losses.

“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.”