Whilst we appreciate the clarity around dates for reopening, there’s little else in this roadmap to be positive about. The sector's enormous investments and efforts to make premises COVID-safe last year have been completely overlooked again, and we find ourselves at the back of the queue for reopening, under conditions which simply won’t work for most pubs. The substantial meal and curfew have been rightfully consigned to history, but outdoor-only opening is not a viable proposition for many.

Although over 80% of our community pubs have outdoor space, it’s likely that most pubs’ trading capability will continue to be impaired at levels well below normal operating levels, making them simply unviable. That’s before we have to factor in the Great British weather.

We will continue to support our Pub Partners until they are able to fully reopen, however, the Government must provide urgent and further financial support to all pubs until more normalised trading can resume on 21st June which is a full 4 months away. We also need urgent clarity on what trading conditions will look like on 21st June. It’s the longest day of the year and we can’t wait too long for clarity.

I will be writing to the Chancellor this week setting out the high degree of urgency now required on further Support grants, Business rates relief, VAT and Beer duty. Without all of this I will make it clear there will be so many communities in this country that will lose their Community Pub forever. No Government should want that on their watch when the parliamentary constituencies that vote for them rely so much on their local pub as a community asset.

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