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Almost 90 million pints of beer have been wasted since the pandemic began, says industry body

Pubs are closed until at least March under current lockdown rules

Natasha Preskey
Friday 05 February 2021 12:49 GMT
(Getty Images)

Millions of pints of beer have been wasted due to pub closures during the pandemic, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has estimated.

The trade association, which represents brewers and pubs, calculated that up to 87 million pints could have been wasted, at a total cost of £331m.

With an average price per pint of £3.81, pubs have lost millions in revenue on beer that they have been forced to destroy as it could not be sold due to the three lockdowns and various tier restrictions.

All pubs and restaurants were shut in the country's three national lockdowns and, under the tier system, pubs and restaurants were shut in tier three and tier four areas.

During the third lockdown, which began on 5 January, takeaway pints are banned, in what Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, called "yet another blow" to the pub sector.

The body is urging the government to continue supporting the hospitality sector if pubs remain closed.

It is calling for chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the VAT cut for hospitality and the business rates holiday, when the budget is announced in March, and wants a beer duty cut for when pubs reopen.

McClarkin says the sector is "in limbo" and warned of a "wave of closures" without further support.

She said: "Our sector is in limbo. And at several points in the last 12 months pubs and breweries have effectively had to pour their revenues down the drain. 

"We have no idea or clarity from Government on when we can re-open again. What we do know is if we cannot reopen in the near future, without further Government grant support and extensions to the job retention scheme, pubs and brewers will no longer have the cash left to survive and a wave of closures will be inevitable with jobs lost. 

"Even when they can reopen, pubs and brewers are still likely to need Government support to help them kick-start their businesses again."

Boris Johnson will announce a roadmap out of lockdown on 22 February, starting with the reopening of schools on 8 March. 

On Thursday 4 February, 915 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test were reported, along with 20,634 new virus cases. 

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