Pubs remain in “limbo” after the Prime Ministers speech on Sunday over mixed message that the hospitality sector will remain closed until at least July.
Boris Johnson said he hopes that some venues could start to reopen within months depending on what the scientific evidence says.
Industry bosses are fearful that if restrictions remain in place until the end of the summer then thousands of businesses face closing down permanently.
Johnson said, “At the earliest by July – and subject to all these conditions and further scientific advice; if and only if the numbers support it, we will hope to re-open at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing.
“Throughout this period of the next two months, we will be driven not by mere hope or economic necessity.
“We are going to be driven by the science, the data and public health.”
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), said despite looking for a “glimmer of hope,” the industry now faces further weeks of “uncertainty.”
McClarkin said, “With insufficient clarity as to when pubs will reopen, our sector remains in limbo and facing severe uncertainty and financial devastation.
“If government plans to keep pubs closed until the final phase of release, as rumoured, this would make pubs first in and last out of lockdown.
“Despite this, the government hasn’t outlined any specific additional financial support for pubs to assure and help them through the extended lockdown hardship they face.
“We understand that pubs should only open when safe to do so, but extending the lockdown without offering additional support will be devastating.”
James Calder, chief executive of the Society of Independent Brewers (Siba) said, “This is a marathon, not a sprint and we continue to be at the core of discussions with government about how our heritage, our culture and our right to have a good pint in a good pub is maintained for the long term.
“We will of course not put any pressure on government to open pubs and taprooms ahead of when it is safe to do so.
“But we will put pressure where it is needed to ensure our sector has a fighting chance of survival.”