Commenting on the announcement that almost all of England will be placed into Tier 2 and 3 restrictions, CAMRA National Chairman Nik Antona said:
“After an agonising wait, licensees across the country have had their worst fears confirmed – in all but three council areas in the country, pubs will either be closed or only able to open if they are serving substantial meals.
“This is especially devastating in the run up the Christmas, where people in Tier 3 areas won’t be able to go to the pub at all, and those in Tier 2 areas won’t be able to visit to socialise safely with those outside of their household – which will increase feelings of loneliness and social isolation after a year that has been tough for many.
“CAMRA has been clear – we do not think that evidence has been produced to justify extra restrictions on hospitality, and particularly wet-led pubs, but if the Government wants to proceed, they must announce more financial help.
“It is really very simple – hospitality businesses have been singled out for extra restrictions, so they must be given dedicated support.
“This needs to take the form of increased grant funding to cover rent and costs, and include an extension to the business rates holiday, and an extension of the VAT cut to alcoholic drinks.
“This is vital to ensure that communities will have locals to return to in 2021 and can once again reap the social and wellbeing benefits of pub–going.”