'Up to 40% of non-London pubs will close come March,' predicts publican

30 November 2020, 14:13

By Sam Sholli

This the moment a publican told James O'Brien that up to 40% of pubs outside of London will close come March.

Swathes of the North of England were told they would be plunged into the highest tier of restrictions from December 2, closing pubs and restaurants.

Hospitality leaders last week said their industry is being "thrown to the wolves" after it was announced England will be hit with tougher tier restrictions post-lockdown.

Scott, who owns a pub in Brentford, told James: "We're only just now being told, having planned our reopening [and] having planned our staffing and our costs based on Tier 2 grants coming into us, that we...probably won't get anywhere near the grant we thought.

"To add into that miscommunication, we've now been told this morning that apparently a scotch egg is a substantial meal and people can hang around a little bit longer."

Scott was referring to environment secretary George Eustice this morning telling LBC scotch eggs "probably count" as a substantial meal under the new tier restrictions.

He added: "What are we supposed to do? Just leave dirty plates on the tables for everybody so that way they can hang around and finish their beer?"

Speaking of how British pubs will fare as a result of the Covid crisis, Scott predicted: "I think your London pubs will have a certain [level of protection] because of the sheer numbers of populous.

"But, outside of London, I think you're talking 30% to 40% closure come March. March will be the problem because we have to pay the rents three months in advance."

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