Pubs across the UK were ordered to close in March as part of the Government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
A survey by the British Institute of Innkeeping found that one in ten landlords will not be able to make enough profit to open, even with reduced social distancing measures.
Experts claim 5,000 pubs might fall victim to coronavirus as they cannot afford to reopen when lockdown lifts next Saturday following almost four months of lockdown
However, not all pubs will be welcoming loyal drinkers again next weekend – and there are fears that last orders have already been called for a whopping one in 10 of Britain’s watering holes.
Thousands of pubs won’t reopen their doors when the lockdown is lifted on July 4 – and it is feared they will stay closed forever, industry experts have warned.
Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that they can reopen on July 4, but under new measures designed to keep staff and punters safe from catching or spreading the killer bug.
Boss of the British Industry of Innkeeping (BII) Steve Alton has called for the Government to help keep Britain’s boozers open with extra money for furloughing, grants and VAT tax breaks.
Other pubs that were struggling before lockdown have taken a major financial hit that they might not be able to recover from.
Smaller pubs are hardest hit by social distancing measures as they will struggle to keep customers apart, and ones that can afford to open will face extra charges related to PPE for staff, and extra hires to ensure customers keep at least 2m apart from one another.
Another major threat facing struggling pubs are developers, who want to turn the buildings into flats, or knock them down and build new properties on them.
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, he said: “For the majority, opening with a limited capacity means they will be trading at a loss.”
Pubs that do open next Saturday – dubbed “Independence Day” due to the huge numbers of people expected to descend on reopened bars and restaurants across England – will look a lot different to the last time you popped out for a pint.
Greg Mulholland, chairman of the British Pub Confederation, told the paper: “The usual vultures are circling, seeking to profit from turning them into other things, against the wishes of local communities.”
There will be perspex screens at the bar, expanded outside drinking areas in car parks, a one-way system through the pub – including to the toilets – and staff will be instructed to hold glasses from the bottom to prevent any potential germ contamination at the rim.