Many pubs have been forced to close due to Covid-19 and industry bosses think many more will follow suit if they are forced to shut their doors early.
Boozers face being forced to close at 9pm if the Rule of Six fails to make a difference to the rising rates.
The Government is said to be planning to impose a 9pm last orders if the Rule of Six fails to work – but experts think it could force boozers out of business
Brit pubs are begging the Government not to impose a curfew with politicians desperate to stop the rise in coronavirus infections.
But the British Beer and Pub Association, the national trade body representing brewers and pubs, hopes a curfew is not enforced for the industry still reeling from the pressure of the initial lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said schools will be the last thing to shut if another national lockdown is on the agenda and a source added: “A curfew is hurtling up the agenda.”
“However, our data suggests that a third of pubs are still struggling to even break even so this is clearly a very delicate moment in our sector’s recovery.
Chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Our sector has been one of the hardest and longest hit by the pandemic but pubs and brewers have worked tirelessly to get pubs safely open and stocked since July.
“Our pubs will continue to adhere strictly to government guidance ensuring that they remain a safe and welcoming place for socialising.”
“Consumer confidence is very fragile and any extra restrictions would inevitably have a further cooling effect on that.
It would represent another hit to the hospitality sector, with experts insisting the Government will have to prop up businesses if a curfew happens.
Another source said pubs shutting early was “a tool in the armoury actively under consideration”, although another added that it was not “imminent”.
“Pubs have been diligently following the rules, making sure people sanitise and social distance, and that will be the same at 6pm, 9pm or 11pm.
Greg Mulholland, of the British Pubs Confederation, warned: “If this happens, the industry will need a massive level of support, through grants and extended furlough.
Bars in lockdown-hit Bolton already have to close early in an attempt to curb the rise in coronavirus cases in Greater Manchester.
“These proposals risk destroying the Great British pub.”