Pub will need four weeks to get ready for re-opening when lockdown is lifted, says the British Beer & Pub Association.

The trade association has said that pubs will need one month’s notice for the lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions to allow them sufficient time prepare to re-open, though some might be able to do it in three weeks.

Brewers will also need this time to scale-up brewing operations to start re-supplying pubs and the on-trade with fresh beer.

This time frame would enable pubs to give sufficient notice to furloughed staff that they are required to return to work. It would also ensure equipment and systems are operating and cleaned to necessary standards, as well as enabling the clearance of pub cellars and the replacement of beer.

This would in turn require some relaxation of social distancing measures ahead of a full re-opening in order that clearance crews can operate effectively.

The early weeks and months after restrictions are lifted will be critical for tens of thousands of pubs, and their supply chains, including access to working capital, particularly for SMEs.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “It is extremely important that the beer and pub industry are closely consulted on the lifting of the lockdown restrictions when the COVID-19 crisis is over.

“The reopening process for the pub trade will be enormously hard and it’s imperative the Government work with the trade to get it right, else the situation would see even more pubs close.

“We want to work collaboratively with Government to ensure that society and the economy gets back on its feet in a safe and sustainable way once the medical and scientific advice indicates that a reopening is appropriate and with appropriate support in place.

“We believe the pub has a key role to play in this, but re-opening them must be done in the right way, which is why we are leading on these plans to get pubs ready for when the lockdown is lifted.”

● The UK’s lockdown is not due to end any time soon. On 16 March, Dominic Raab, standing in for the prime minister, said that the initial three-week lockdown period would be extended for another three weeks. This means the restrictions put in place across the UK will not change until the end of the first week of May, at the earliest.

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