Leaders across the pub industry have warned the industry “could be lost within days” without “immediate and decisive” government action.
British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said, “The UK pub and brewing industry is tonight facing an existential crisis as a direct result of the guidance issued by the government today.
“Thousands of pubs and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost in the very short term unless a proactive package creating cash and liquidity is provided immediately to the industry.
“Forced pub closures without a meaningful support package will have a catastrophic financial and social impact.”
There have been calls for the cancellation of beer duty payment for the next six months, with the postponement of the planned national minimum and living wage increases due in April.
McClarkin added: “I cannot emphasise strongly enough how critical it is that action is taken now.
“Failure to do so will destroy the industry.”
Following Boris Johnson’s announcement to avoid bars and restaurants the hospitality sector will be hit hard which will be “catastrophic for businesses and jobs.”
UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the new advice left the industry in “limbo with no recourse to insurance.”
She added, “This is catastrophic for businesses and jobs.
“The government has effectively shut the hospitality industry without any support, and this announcement will lead to thousands of businesses closing their doors for good, and hundreds of thousands of job losses.”