CAMRA says the news of a lockdown in Wales from Friday, 23 October for two weeks is devastating for consumers, pubs and breweries.

CAMRA’s director for Wales Chris Charters said: “Our pubs, breweries and cider-makers are still trying to recover from the first lockdown, and have been operating at reduced trade for months and have invested thousands of pounds of their dwindling reserves to make their premises COVID-secure.

“This announcement of a two-week closure is absolutely devastating news and is a real make or break moment for Welsh beer, cider and pubs.

“Whilst grants from the Welsh Government are welcome and necessary, many fear that they won’t be enough to pay for both fixed costs and their staff wages as the UK Government’s jobs support scheme doesn’t kick in until next month.”

Charters continued: “The Welsh and UK Governments urgently need to work together to bring forward a comprehensive financial support package to cover this fire-breaker period – and the weeks and months following it to allow businesses to get back on their feet.

“Without proper compensation we risk seeing pubs, breweries and cider producers closing for good before Christmas.”

SIBA chief executive James Calder said even before the lockdown pubs had stopped ordering beer.

Calder said: “The mounting speculation over the last week that Wales was about to move into a circuit breaker lockdown has already caused pubs to put a halt on orders from small independent brewers for fear of having beer sitting unsold in their cellars, and the confirmation of a lockdown will now mean no orders on the horizon for small brewers across Wales who survive on sales via pubs.

“When pubs are told to close the independent breweries that supply them are also effectively forced to mothball their operations, and despite 80% of small brewers’ beer being sold via pubs they do not receive any support from Government when pubs are forced to close.

“Small breweries cannot just turn production on and off like a switch and this circuit breaker will mean that more small breweries will be deciding to throw in the towel rather than continue through an extremely uncertain time when they have not received the full financial support other sectors have been given.”

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